October 1, 2007

Nokia to Buy NAVTEQ


In a not so surprising development, NAVTEQ is being bought by Nokia; in the wake of TomTom’s acquisition of TeleAtlas, the other major map maker, I am not surprised to see the acquisition news. I am surprised to see that it’s Nokia though. The acquisition cements Nokia’s desire to be a more active player in Location Based Services (LBS), and in connecting people to places.

The price is $8.1 billion, or $78 per share. Reports indicate that NAVTEQ talked to several suitors before landing on Nokia. No doubt the weak dollar played to Nokia’s favor.

Is Garmin Next?
In light of Nokia’s recent GPS/PND introductions, one has to imagine the potential for Nokia to make an overture for Garmin, not content to stop at just acquiring the map content. While mobile phones are going to play an as yet to be determined big role in navigation, stand alone devices are going to be around for a long time. Nokia has to be envious of Garmin’s market position. So while Garmin’s stock was hit pretty hard today, off about 12% all day, as most analysts think that the GPS maker would suffer under the NAVTEQ/Nokia deal, one has to imagine that life for Garmin could be better after the deal, either indirectly (Nokia drives vast improvements in the NAVTEQ capability) or directly (Nokia buys interest in Garmin).

Never a slow ride in this fast developing market. Stay tuned.

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 1, 2007 6:09 PM

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