Nokia will acquire NAVTEQ, maker of digital maps for automotive navigation systems, for approximately $8 billion. Nokia intends to strengthen its location-based-services offerings since such services are rapidly expanding into mobile communications devices. "Location based services are one of the cornerstones of Nokia's Internet services strategy," Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, President and CEO of Nokia, said in a statement. "By joining forces with NAVTEQ, we will be able to bring context and geographical information to a number of our Internet services with accelerated time to market." Chicago-based NAVTEQ was founded in 1985 and currently has approximately 3,000 employees working in 168 offices in 30 countries. "Nokia's unique vision for location based services aligns perfectly with NAVTEQ's vision to enable everyone to find their way to people, places and opportunities on mobile communications devices, cars, desktop computers and in all the other places that are important to them," Judson Green, NAVTEQ President and CEO, said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2008.