Making good street maps is a pretty tough gig, which is why TomTom and Garmin are in a bidding war for Tele Atlas, the only major unsold mapmaker left (Navteq was purchased by Nokia for $8.1 billion). TomTom, the leader in navigation equipment, raised the stakes by offering a whopping $4.2 billion. What's great about this, especially for Tele Atlas, is that the mapping company has lost money for the last 10 years.
But with cell phones, cars and coffee makers all coming equipped with GPS it's an advantage to control the maps as well as make the devices. Having access to content will allow either company to increase their offerings and improve quality, with TomTom claiming they'll be able to offer significantly better maps within a year of purchase. Try and remember that when your TomTom tells you to turn into a lake. [Bloomberg]