I guess Amazon.com really is serious about getting into the mobile phone business. Reuters today reported that the Seattle online retailer considered buying RIM a few months ago, but the BlackBerry maker rebuffed the overtures.
According to Reuters, Amazon hired an investment banking firm this past summer to take a look at RIM, which has been struggling to retain market share against rivals such as Apple and Google’s Android. Reuters reported that it was unclear whether a price was ever floated, but it quoted an unnamed investment banker who said RIM has had “approaches from folks who have wanted to have discussions.”
RIM has long been the subject of buyout rumors.
Over the past few years, venture capitalists at the Washington Technology Industry Association’s annual predictions dinners have suggested that RIM would make an attractive buyout candidate. But those predictions usually have centered around Microsoft, not Amazon.com.
In fact, a separate report out today by The Wall Street Journal said that Microsoft and Nokia considered a joint bid for RIM. At the WTIA predictions dinner in November, venture capitalist Rob Glaser said a Microsoft bid for RIM would make a lot of sense. “In terms of single moves available, that would be the best available move,” Glaser said at the time.
Reports have circulated recently that Amazon is aiming at pushing deeper into the mobile business.
Could RIM be the answer?
Well, the company is sure a heck of a lot cheaper than it was 12 months ago. The Canadian company has lost 77 percent of its value, and now has a market value of $6.7 billion.
That’s still a lot of coin. If Amazon were to bid, it would be the biggest acquisition in the company’s history.
Reuters notes that talks about a partnership are still occurring between RIM and Amazon.
What do you think about a RIM-Amazon tie-up? Good idea? Bad idea?