The big picture is that map data is a natural monopoly. And even Google probably agree that it doesn't make sense for that monopoly to be run by a for-profit company.
In a joined-up world it also doesn't make sense to try to divide the monopoly geographically, as happened historically. Nobody wants to buy map data from sixty different countries, each in a different format, with inconsistent rules about what terms mean ("Oh, in Germany, this distinction does not exist, but instead ...") and licensing conditions that bury novel uses in tortuous legal process.
In the past OSM had access to Yahoo images (and I believe that Yahoo may have been one of the sponsors which bought me a pleasant meal after a day surveying a maze-like housing estate for OSM). I'd be interested to hear how that relates to this new announcement. Is it the same images under a new name, an expanded range of images, or ...?