Garmin vs TomTom bid battle for Tele Atlas hots up
Fighting for virtual territory
In sat nav, as in other forms of consumer technology, content is king. Or at least navigation hardware providers Garmin and TomTom believe so - the bell rings today for round two of their fight to acquire map-data firm Tele Atlas.
Garmin topped TomTom's initial offer last week, but now the Financial Times reports that the Dutch firm has fought back. TomTom has now raised its bid to €30/share, up from €21.25 and beating Garmin's €24.50. At the same time, it has built up a 28 per cent stake in the firm. The new offer values Tele Atlas at €2.9bn.
"We are now well positioned to buy Tele Atlas," TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn told the FT. "We are now their biggest customer and their biggest shareholder."
Garmin and TomTom both want Tele Atlas badly, as it is the only major, global commercial map-data provider they can buy. Navteq was recently taken over by Nokia for $8.1bn. Whichever of the two sat nav makers loses the bidding war will need to buy in mapping for its products from a rival hardware provider, which is unlikely to be much fun.
Unsurprisingly, Tele Atlas shares rose above the offer price in morning trading. Shareholders evidently don't think that Garmin will roll over nicely. ®
Its amazing, a whole industry, growing for a good while now, based on the premise of a technology that could be turned completely useless at any time, esp at times of war.
GPS tech works on US deployed nav satellites, and while a former US prez promised that GPS wont ever be pulled, the US gov I believe has apparently repealed this claim and could go about single handedly destroying the whole sat nav industry in one fell swoop! All to stop Al Quaeda from navigating during a possible future attack!
And no we're not talking about just reducing its accuracy (which would prevent sat navs from knowing which road you're on) but they do also have the power to completely stop GPS signals.
Unlikely, yes, but a bit hairy for a multi-million $$$ industry no? Sure you could still use the maps on your TomTom Go but it wont tell u where you are or how to get somewhere.
And theres no sign of the EU equivalent (Gallileo isn't it?) any time soon either.
I love using GPS satnav myself but I wont throw out my atlases just yet. I'm waiting for that satellite with TomTom engraved in its belly to be sent up next shuttle launch - yeah right! ;-)
Wacth out if you live in the Channel Islands or on the Isle of Man
According to TeleAtlas, neither the Channel Islands or on the Isle of Man exist.
Try locating an address in either place on a Tele-Atlas based SatNav.
I just bought a new Garmin GPS for the car. :-(