Amazon, Microsoft, Nokia mulled RIM bids

December 21, 2011

As Research in Motion works to recover from a year of hard knocks, media reports indicate that other technology heavyweights have been considering snapping up the struggling BlackBerry maker.

Reuters reported Tuesday that RIM wasn’t interested in merger talks with Amazon. Citing unnamed “people with knowledge of the situation,” the report said that the two companies were in casual talks over the summer, but Amazon never made a formal offer. It is unclear if pricing discussions ever took place, the report said.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft and Nokia also “flirted” with the idea of a joint offer for RIM, but only in informal discussions.

RIM shares fell to an eight-year low Tuesday — the best day for U.S. stocks this month, adding fuel to speculations that the company is ripe for a takeover.

The company has been struggling this quarter. Poor sales of its tablet, the BlackBerry PlayBook, have hurt its image and those troubles were compounded when its vaunted BlackBerry Messenger network suffered worldwide outages.

In RIM’s most recent earnings call, co-chief executives Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis said that they were open to looking at several options to help the company, such as licensing out its operating system. The executives also announced that the next BlackBerry system would be delayed until the second half of 2012. The Journal report indicates that Balslillie, who handles RIM’s corporate strategy, has said that he would like to wait on that launch before considering bids from buyers.

Related stories:

BlackBerry maker RIM says next-generation phones won’t be out till late 2012, adding to woes

RIM forced to change name of critically important new software platform

RIM denies rumors it’s dropping the PlayBook

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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