The Duopoly Divides – TomTom to Buy Tele Atlas

nav.jpgI should have started my day on European time. TomTom and Tele Atlas issued joint press today announcing the sale of TeleAtlas to TomTom for around $2.5 Billion. Scratch previous suggestions that perhaps the two were growing apart. This move will not only enhance the navigation product reach while reducing TA OPEX with streamlined user-generated data collection science, but it also blocks new competitive entrants who would otherwise threaten TomTom’s future. Obvious threats include Google and Nokia. With news of the TA sale, NAVTEQ stock was up 16% today at noon EST, with investors salivating at the possible sale of the other member of the once global duopoly. So, it seems previous rumors live-up to their possibility and a race is now on between Google and Nokia for NAVTEQ, but in that race, it’s hard to imagine folks like Microsoft to sit on the sidelines and give-up their already tremendous investments …

Naturally, a number of other smaller navigation suppliers are biting their fingernails today. What happens to folks on both sides of TeleAtlas and NAVTEQ’s usage? Here’s a compressed list of smaller navigation application solutions providers and their respective database usage preference. Will they be abandoned… consumed…? It’s hard to imagine they’ll continue to receive product to support a competitive effort.

  • Appello - NAVTEQ
  • Clarity Communications - NAVTEQ
  • Dash - Tele Atlas
  • Destinator - NAVTEQ
  • Garmin - NAVTEQ
  • Jentro - NAVTEQ
  • Networks in Motion - NAVTEQ
  • Motorola - NAVTEQ
  • Nokia/Gate5 – Tele Atlas
  • Navigon - NAVTEQ
  • Mio – Tele Atlas
  • Navitime - NAVTEQ
  • Route 66 - NAVTEQ
  • TelMap - NAVTEQ
  • TeleNav – Tele Atlas
  • WaveMarket – Tele Atlas
  • WayFinder – NAVTEQ
  • Webraska – NAVTEQ

Also, I wonder about the major developer ecosystem efforts of both Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ going forward. Why engage a developer community that builds competitive end-user product? Perhaps outreach strategies will shift towards engaging other content publishers and media companies vs. developers who build function. This will be interesting to watch…