Nokia’s “Here” mapping division is up for sale, and Facebook is just one of many potential buyers.
But the social networking company has already signed a deal to use Here maps for its mobile apps, and is also testing whether Nokia Here maps could be used to power location services in native apps such as Instagram and Messenger on Android.
While neither company has officially announced the new mapping partnership, both confirmed the new relationship to TechCrunch.
Nokia said last month it was considering selling off Here after announcing plans to purchase French network gear rival Alcatel-Lucent. Samsung, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent and even Yahoo are also rumoured to be interested in buying the company, even though a sale has not yet been confirmed.
Uber, which currently relies on Google Maps, could also be in the running. The relationship between Uber and Google, which invested $US258 million in the car-sharing app in 2013, has grown prickly in recent months, as both companies make moves toward self-driving cars. Google is also reportedly working on a competing ride-hailing service.
Here maps are largely based on automotive-grade mapping equipment developed by Navteq, which Nokia acquired for $US8.1 billion in 2008. The division is now estimated to be worth somewhere between $US2 billion and $US4 billion, TechCrunch reports.