TomTom says mapping unit not up for sale

AMSTERDAM Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:02am EDT

A model displays the navigation device 'TOMTOM Go 930 T' during first public day at the CeBIT computer fair in the northern German town of Hanover March 4, 2008. REUTERS/Morris Mac Matzen

A model displays the navigation device 'TOMTOM Go 930 T' during first public day at the CeBIT computer fair in the northern German town of Hanover March 4, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Morris Mac Matzen

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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch navigation and digital map maker TomTom, which is struggling with competition from map offerings by Google and Nokia, is not looking to sell its mapping unit, denying a report it might consider a sale.

TomTom executive committee member Taco Titulaer told Reuters on Thursday it's mapping division, formerly known as Tele Atlas and part of TomTom's content assets, aren't up for sale.

"Our content assets are core to our strategy and product offering," said Titulaer adding.

"TomTom is not considering to divest or sell those assets, which includes mapping."

TomTom bought the digital map maker Tele Atlas in 2008 for 2.9 billion euros, in part to prevent rival Garmin Ltd from getting its hands on the digital maps and also to use the maps for new revenue streams by building a content and service business.

Mergermarket said TomTom has been rumored to consider selling its mapping division, citing two unanimous industry sources.

One source was cited as saying Google was phasing out its partnership with TomTom and that location-specific content has lost some of its luster due the rise of Web sites and services such as Twitter, foursquare and Facebook.

Google maps and Navteq, which is owned by Nokia, are TomTom's commercial rivals in the digital mapping market, which has seen increased offerings of maps on mobile phones, sometimes free of charge.

(Reporting by Roberta B. Cowan)

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