Nokia Here Maps
Nokia Here Maps is currently available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone handsets, as well as on desktop browsers Nokia

Ridesharing app provider Uber Technologies is bidding for Nokia's HERE maps business, the New York Times reported, citing three people with knowledge of the offer.

Uber, which has been largely depending on Google Maps for its services, is willing to pay about $3bn (£1.97bn, €2.65bn) for HERE, which was reportedly put on sale by Nokia in April.

The newspaper added that a consortium of German automakers, including BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, is also working on a bid for HERE, in partnership with Chinese search engine Baidu.

An undisclosed private equity firm is also bidding for it. Negotiations over the sale of Nokia's mapping business are continuing and the talks still may not lead to a deal, the sources told NYT. Representatives for Uber, the German automakers and Nokia declined to comment on the deal rumours.

Nokia is expected to announce the sale of HERE by the end of May.

Having sold its mobile business to Microsoft, the Finnish telecom equipment maker is exploring the sale of HERE, as it focuses on its wireless-network unit for better growth.

The sale comes as digital mapping service has become crucial for technology firms to bolster or expand their operations.

While Google Maps has the biggest presence among smartphone users, HERE Maps dominates automobile mapping, with more than a global market share of more than 80% for built-in car navigation systems.

Based in Berlin, HERE employs about 6,000 people worldwide. The unit reported yearly revenue of $1.1bn, or less than 8% of Nokia's total sales in 2014.