Amazon and Microsoft-Nokia Wanted to Buy RIM

RIM HeadquartersRIM is in the bull’s eye. Two reports indicate the Canadian maker of BlackBerry was nearly acquired, first by Amazon and then by a partnership of Microsoft and Nokia.

The first report, by Reuters, indicated that Amazon hired an investment bank this summer to review a potential offer for RIM, but a formal offer never materialized. Said one investment banking chief: “They have had approaches from folks who have wanted to have discussions. The issue is it is hard to find a value that makes sense with a falling knife.”

RIM and Amazon declined to comment.

The second set of rumored RIM suitors: Microsoft and Nokia. According to The Wall Street Journal, some informal discussions took place, but no bids were made. Microsoft and Nokia declined to comment, citing the talk as “rumors and speculation.” Microsoft partners with RIM for cloud services and with Nokia for its mobile phone software (Windows Phone 7).

Recent reports have indicated that RIM wants to make a switch toward smartphones, launch new devices, and introduce a new QNX operating system. Amazon and RIM are said to be still discussing ways to expand and integrate their music service.

RIM’s market capitalization has dropped 77 percent to $6.8 billion in the last 12 months, as new phones have been delayed and sales of its PlayBook tablet have been weak.

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