26 July 2007 | Helen Gilbert
Satellite navigation systems maker Tom Tom is to buy its main map supplier Tele Atlas for ?1.8 billion (£1.2 billion).
The bid made by the Dutch firm this week is supported by the board of Tele Atlas, which confirmed it would recommend acceptance of the offer to shareholders.
Tom Tom plans to use its 10 million GPS devices as "map surveyors" to provide more accurate navigation information. The systems will generate automatic feedback that enables them to produce daily map updates and intelligent routing.
Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer of Tom Tom, said: "By integrating customer feedback into the Tele Atlas map manufacturing process, we will be able to considerably enhance the user experience and further increase all Tele Atlas' and Tom Tom's customers' satisfaction."
The anticipated merger is not expected to have any "significant negative consequences" on employment.