Nokia ups the ante in location-based service market with acquisition of map provider Navteq in one of its largest acquisitions.
The Finnish company says it will spend $78 a share for Navteq, financed with cash and debt. Nokia had 8.3 billion euros ($11.8 billion) in cash and other liquid assets as of the end of June.
Already selling more cell phones around the globe than any other handset maker, Nokia has been
Earlier this year at the 3GSM trade show in Barcelona, Nokia introduced its first GPS-enabled phone, the 6110 Navigator. The company also launched a navigation service that allows users to download maps.
Using the handset's embedded software, consumers can view their current location on a map, search for destinations, find specific routes, or locate nearby services such as restaurants, hotels or shops.
Location-based services are "one of the cornerstones of Nokia's Internet services strategy,"
Nokia also said Navteq would continue to support its existing customers. The Navteq map data business will continue to operate independently, but it will be organized as a Nokia group company.
Navteq has been viewed as a takeover target since this summer, when for Navteq's top rival in the mapping market, Tele Atlas.
Tele Atlas provides maps for MapQuest, Google Maps and several other navigation devices. TomTom accounts for about 40 percent of Tele Atlas' business. When the acquisition was announced in July, many speculated that Google would buy rival Navteq.
Nokia's shares were trading down 2.43 percent to $37.01 on Monday after the news was announced.