A very interesting acquisition today: Nokia acquired map-provider Navteq for $8.1 billion. This is especially interesting since Navteq is one of the major suppliers of digital maps, they provide mapping data to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Another supplier of mapping-data, Tele Atlas, was acquired by TomTom earlier this year.
Personally I expected Google to buy Navteq. For the last couple of months, Google has made clear that they expect a lot of their mapping service (maps.google.com). I can’t imagine that they like the idea of being dependent on nokia. However, another company will even have a worse feeling about this acquisition: Garmin. Garmin currently gets their data from Navteq, that however means that they are now a customer of a big competitor (nokia). Switching to Tele Atlas isn’t much better since that company is owned by another competitor, TomTom. That leaves them in a difficult situation.
For the customers however, this is only good news. I expect nokia to enter the navigation-market with some very interesting products. Given nokia’s background, an internet-connected navigation device cannot be far away.