updated 11:05 am EST, Fri November 16, 2007
Garmin Skips TeleAtlas Bid
GPS device maker Garmin today withdrew its bid to buy map supplier Tele Atlas for $3.3 billion, opening the door for its primary rival TomTom to make its own deal. The latter firm made its own bid first in July but has since been outbid by Garmin, which claims it has been determined to prevent its competitors from acquiring all the map suppliers themselves and leaving Garmin with no choice but to license GPS maps from a rival. Finland's cellphone manufacturer Nokia recently bought out another major map provider, Navteq, to supply navigation for its smartphones.
No explanation has been given for the sudden withdrawal, though Garmin's truce in the bidding war is very likely to be connected to a recent patent dispute settlement between Garmin and TomTom that saw both companies halt lawsuits against each other in exchange for unknown compensation that may include allowing TomTom to buy Tele Atlas. Garmin does not use Tele Atlas maps for most of its GPS navigators and today renewed an agreement with Navteq.