Just four months after German automakers Audi, BMW, and Mercedes Benz completed a $2.8 billion acquisition of Nokia’s HERE mapping and location services business, a new player may be joining the alliance.
Reuters reports that Amazon.com is interested in taking a stake in HERE, a 6,500-person company which powers the in-car navigation systems for a majority of vehicles on the road today. As part of the deal, Amazon would provide cloud computing services to HERE, helping to ensure that in-car maps are seamlessly and quickly delivered to vehicles.
Former HERE CEO Michael Halbherr, who stepped down last year, told GeekWire in 2014 that the company wanted “to create an incredible location cloud business.”
HERE was one of the three major businesses that remained part of Nokia following Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s smartphone business. As part of its Nokia deal, Microsoft agreed to a long-term license of the HERE technology.
Microsoft and Amazon compete in the cloud computing arena.
Reuters also notes that the alliance could make sense since Amazon is in the midst of building out its own vehicle delivery network, part of plan to more quickly deliver goods to customers’ doorsteps. It also reports Ford is interested in joining the consortium backing HERE.
HERE already has a substantial presence in the Seattle region following its acquisition of Medio Systems in 2014, and the company said it plans to keep growing its workforce in the region.