Creating location and mapping services isn’t exactly easy, and with Google Maps controlling a significant chunk of the market with an excellent, feature-packed product that’s difficult to compete with, it’s not even worth it to create them. But what if you could just buy services that someone else already created? It’s an important market, and if rumors that Nokia is looking to sell its Here mapping unit are true, companies like Amazon and Microsoft might be very interested, especially considering ow invested they already are in the service.
A report that Nokia could be putting its Here mapping unit up for sale should raise eyebrows at companies through the tech industry. Bloomberg reports that Uber and private equity firms are among those who have been approached by Nokia. A Nokia representative was not immediately available for comment. However, if the mapping unit is indeed for sale, it could draw interest from wide array of big-name tech firms. That’s because Nokia is the remaining big independent company in the global mapping business. Microsoft, Yahoo and Amazon all rely on its location technology, as do most of the major automakers. Any of those players might be interested in trying to keep the technology from falling into the hands of a rival. One company that could easily afford to buy the business — and might see a strategic benefit — is Apple. The company clearly has a need when it comes to better mapping data, and also is said to have more than a passing interest in the auto market. Another possibility is that some sort of coalition of parties with a vested interest in the map data could emerge, similar to the Rockstar patent consortium. But it’s easier to have a consortium own patents than it is to operate a business.