Tele Atlas Acquires US-Based Mapping Company ETAK from Sony Corp of America

With the acquisition of ETAK, TELE ATLAS becomes the largest digital map provider in the world

's Hertogenbosch, Gent, - - Tele Atlas, the European market leader in digital mapping, today announced it has finalized agreements on the acquisition of Etak, a leading publisher of digital maps and location-based technology and products in the U.S.and the UK.The transaction is subject to customary U.S.Government approval.Etak is headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif.(USA).The company has some 200 employees world wide, with offices in the US and the UK.Tele Atlas and Etak have had a long-standing relationship in the field of digital mapping.With the acquisition of Etak, whose maps cover 100 percent of the continental United States, Tele Atlas has instantaneously obtained maximum geographical coverage of the U.S.and the UK, on top of its already existing leading European coverage.With this acquisition, Tele Atlas employs 1,200 people world wide.The acquisition is fully in line with Tele Atlas' plans and mission to be the world leader in digital mapping. Alain De Taeye, CEO of Tele Atlas, explains: "Our acquisition of Etak will further enhance our goal to supply accurate, correct and complete geographical data in order to be the quality leader through broad and deep product offering, and this on a world wide base.We already are the market leader in digital mapping.With Etak under our wing, Tele Atlas can now provide full and quality coverage of the U.S.and the UK to all of its global customers.Tele Atlas will further enhance the existing Etak maps using its firmly established know-how and technology, as such creating top quality data for applications in the areas of car navigation, traffic telematics, emerging technology applications, GIS, etc.In short, all applications, be it now or in the future, can be enabled with Tele Atlas' vast and complete range of digital mapping data and technology."

Etak is the leading publisher of location-based technology and digital maps for map and travel products, mobile traveller information systems, location-based services, commercial business geographic markets, real-time traffic services, etc.The company is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America, which is owned by Sony Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo.Etak holds more than 40 patents world wide in navigation technologies that underlie a wide range of products for consumers in the area of Personal Navigation, Digital Road Network Databases, Software Development Tools, Geocoding Products & Services, Real-Time Traffic Information and Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Tele Atlas was founded in the 1980s in the Netherlands (Europe), and has fast been developing into a multinational with over 1,000 staff and with a global presence.Tele Atlas provides continuously updated digital maps on street level.Tele Atlas' digital maps are enhanced by a vast number of administrative and traffic attributes, such as postal codes, street names, one-way streets, roundabouts, etc.Tele Atlas' digital maps enable navigation CD-ROMs and a wide range of other applications such as GIS, emerging technology applications in the area of location-based services, traffic telematics, PC-based and internet mapping applications, vehicle navigation for use on desktop and laptop PCs, etc.With the acquisition of Etak, the total Tele Atlas database becomes the largest digital map database in the world.As such, the acquisition of Etak has firmly established Tele Atlas as the world leader and reference in digital mapping.

For further information, please contact:
Tele Atlas
Koenraad Beyaert
General Manager
Corporate Marketing Communications
Moutstraat 92
9000 Gent
Tel : + 32 (0) 9 244 8811
Fax: + 32 (0) 9 222 7412
E-mail :

Published Thursday, April 20th, 2000

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