Uber Throws $3 Billion Offer Into Nokia Here Maps Bidding War

Apparently Uber has big plans that extend beyond simply being an alternative taxi service for smartphone users. The startup wants to grow into something more: enter the logistics game and deliver both people and goods in short time frames. In order to do that, the company is willing spend several billion dollars acquiring Nokia's mapping service.

According to a report in The New York Times, Uber is one of several companies caught up in a bidding war for Here, the primary competitor to Google Maps. Citing multiple people speaking on the condition of anonymity, NYT says Uber's offered as much as $3 billion to acquire the mapping service owned by Nokia, though it's going up against auto makers with deep pockets.

Nokia Here

A consortium of German auto companies that include Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz teamed with up with Baidu, the popular Chinese search engine, to submit a bid for Here as well. In addition, a private equity firm is said to have made an offer too.

Nokia is discussing a potential deal with all the interested parties, and while nothing is imminent, it's difficult to fathom the Finnish coming walking away from potentially billions of dollars and whatever else it might be able to wrangle out of negotiations.

Mapping services play an obvious key role to logistics and would tie in nicely with Uber's current and future plans. At present, Uber uses Google Maps, though it would prefer to be self-reliant. It's also worth pointing out that Here has a greater than 80 percent share of the built-in car navigation market.

One specific area where Here could benefit Uber is its Pool service, which is a ride-sharing feature relies on geospatial mapping data to efficiently pair riders with Uber drivers.