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July 3, 2008

Navigating the commission

ESPOO, Finland – The EU has given the green light to the Nokia Navteq
deal which means within the week the mapping company will become part of Nokia. Following the approval for the takeover of Navteq competitor TeleAtlas the commission concluded that “The merged firm’s ability to deny competitors access to map databases is limited by the presence of the other competitor, Tele Atlas”

But what does this mean for consumers? Fundamentally it means Nokia can get on with its plans to bring a broader range of location-based technology to consumers. We’re already seeing mapping filter down from hi-end handsets like N95 to more mid-range products like the latest Supernova range and the 6220.

Having mapping technology in house could make a hell of a difference to that strategy. Access to the information and the technology not only makes it cheaper (so available to more handsets) but also enables Nokia to dictate, to some degree, the next generation of the technology.

Right now Navteq will continue to operate independently under CEO Judson Galvin.

Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvauo said

“Navteq will play a key role in our Internet services strategy with world-leading maps and navigation industry expertise, a strong customer base and industry-leading map data and technology platform offering the broadest geographical coverage.”

Writing for Fortune, Scott Moritz said

“The deal solidifies Nokia’s GPS position, allowing it expand on its existing so-called location-based services, like turn-by-turn navigation, local searching to find stores and restaurants within a given vicinity, and location messaging that lets users send others a map that pinpoints where they are.”

So what are you expecting to see out of the deal?