Finnish telecoms group Nokia is selling its mapping service Here to German car makers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz for 2.8 billion euros ($3 billion), it said Monday.
The sale "should be concluded in the first quarter of 2016", Nokia said in a statement, claiming that it will bring the company a profit of 2.5 billion euros. The three German car makers said in a separate statement that they will hold equal shares in Here.
Here -- a direct competitor to Google Maps -- was bought by Nokia from the US tech company Navteq for $8.1 billion in 2008.
Although much less well known to the general public than its rival, Here has a solid list of industrial and Internet clients.
The sale, which will have to be approved by competition authorities, will keep it as an "open, independent and creative platform", the car makers added.
The controversial taxi app Uber told the New York Times in May that it had made a $3 billion offer for the firm.