Dutch navigation systems company TomTom (TOM2.AS: Quote, Profile , Research) plans to buy its main map supplier, Tele Atlas (TA.AS: Quote, Profile , Research), for 1.8 billion euros ($2.5 billion), hoping tight integration of maps and products will give it an edge over competitors.
Tele Atlas is ok with the offer, a 32% premium on its stock price. The companies expect to use the in-car devices in consumer vehicles to capture new data (TomTom MapShare-like?) and provide on the order of daily map updates in time.
Tele Atlas could lose some clients in the online market, but some 40% of revenue in the second quarter was from TomTom.
Conference Call - Today 10 am eastern
Seeking Alpha says this move should put NAVTEQ into play with likely buyers including: Microsoft, Google, Nokia. And, the article re-iterates something we’ve said before: "I think TomTom’s aqcuisition of Tele Atlas shows that the navigation device makers have realized that the companies that control the mapping business will control the whole PND business."
The AP notes:
Tele Atlas has deals to provide information to TomTom, Qualcomm Inc. and Nokia Corp., while Garmin, Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and AOL’s MapQuest use mostly Navteq. But the bigger companies use at least some information from both, and analysts say they have an interest in ensuring neither Navteq nor Tele Atlas becomes too dominant at geo-mapping information.
The Guardian Unlimited notes the recent deal between TomTom and Vodafone to capture data from phone users.
Last month Vodafone and TomTom announced plans to cooperate on a new service that would integrate information from Vodafone’s network with TomTom’s navigation database. Phone signals from Vodafone customers would be used to measure the speed of the cars in which they are travelling and the number of customers on a given road, giving a rough idea of traffic congestion and enabling users to dodge jams. The service is expected to launch next year.