Exclusive: The Tech Press Got it Wrong. Samsung is Not Buying RIM, Amazon is!

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By: Hillel Fuld

While some old-school BlackBerry lovers might be mourning over the recent news, it is pretty clear to almost everyone that RIM is R.I.P. Some made the prediction at the end of 2011 that 2012 would be the year that RIM either goes bankrupt or sells out. Others are now talking about Samsung possibly buying the Canadian mobile giant, but Samsung itself has denied such rumors.

Meanwhile, Newsgeek, a leading tech blog in the Israeli scene has some other information based on very reliable sources. I requested that they translate their post from Hebrew to English so I can repost it here.

So here you go, this is the Newsgeek post explaining how Amazon is actually the company in the races to buy RIM including the alleged offer and its price!

The original article is available here (in Hebrew): http://www.newsgeek.co.il/amazon-to-acquire-rim-for-10b/

Exclusive: Amazon back in the race for RIM with $10Bn bid

By: Yaniv Feldman

After last month’s reports about RIM’s refusal to several acquisition requests from potential buyers, Amazon and Microsoft (including Nokia), a source close to both companies mentioned that negotiations have resumed between Amazon and RIM, and the acquisition looks closer than ever before.

Back to Reality

At its highest, RIM was worth around $144Bn only three years ago. The downward spiral of the company, which was controlling the majority of the US market, started about a year after the launch of the iPhone, and around the same time when Android first launched. It is still unclear, up to this day, whether it was the company’s focus on the business sector that caused it to lag behind its competitors, or perhaps it was the dual-captains running the great ship RIM, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, who were too sure of their ways, enough to dismiss their new competitors.

Even when it seemed like the company has come to terms with the changing world around it, it was too little and too late. The touchscreen device the company unveiled last year, the Blackberry Torch, was a retail failure, and the tablet that followed it was not able to generate enough user interest (at least not until its price-drop).

Over the course of 2011, RIM lost over 90% of its value, and at the end of December was worth less than $7Bn. This low price managed to generate some interest from potential buyers, who would like to get a hold of some of RIM’s assets, including a client base of several tens of millions of users worldwide. At the end of 2011, there were several rumors regarding companies who might be interested, including Microsoft and Nokia, who considered a possible acquisition of RIM as a leverage to advance Windows Phone, and on the other hand Amazon, who would be able to use the acquisition to expand its services into the mobile world.

Several hours following the rumors on talks, RIM released an official statement, according to which the company is not for sale, and that the company’s board requested both CEOs to focus on getting the company back on track, by introducing new and advanced devices, investment in the developer ecosystem and apps, and restructuring the company to accommodate such changes.

Amazon Still in the Race

According to information Newsgeek has received over the past weekend, and despite the fact that both companies deny any negotiations, it seems that Amazon is still trying to close the deal, and has last week offered its newest offer of nearly $10Bn for RIM. Our sources indicate that this is a substantially higher bid from Amazon than previous bids, but after negotiations, which lasted several weeks (and also caused an increase of over 10% of RIM stocks), both companies have reached  a preliminary understanding, and are going to move the process forward.

Our source also indicates, that a finalizing of the acquisition, as well as a formal declaration about it, is expected during Q1 of 2012.

RIM and Amazon were both unavailable for comment.


About Newsgeek

Newsgeek is the leading technology news website in Israel. Newsgeek was founded as a blog in March 2009 and soon became a leader in the field among the Israeli tech community.

The blog covers all technology related topics, from Internet, Social Media and consumer electronics, through Israeli startups and events, to hard-core development, security and IT.

We are currently 9 employees, most of them are writers, and we cooperate with the largest companies in Israel like Google, Microsoft, IBM and others.

On top of that, Geekmedia (the company that operates Newsgeek) also holds several startup and entrepreneurship related events for the Israeli tech community.

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