Amazon Considered Acquiring RIM Over The Summer

To say that RIM has had it rough these past few months is a understatement, but according to a new report from Reuters, it may not have had to go through these trials alone. In a surprising twist, Amazon was reportedly considering a RIM acquisition as recently as this past summer.

According to Reuters, Amazon had tasked an investment bank with exploring the possibility of a RIM buyout, although their sources don’t mention how far both parties were from finalizing a deal. The talks seemed to be largely informal in nature so it may have been nothing more than an open-ended meeting of the minds, but man — what a deal that would’ve been.

The real head-scratcher here is why Amazon would want with RIM in the first place. Analysts from Citigroup predicted last month that an Amazon-branded phone could see the light of day some time next year, and acquiring RIM would certainly give them a platform to work off of. Then again, Amazon made their interest in Android apparent in March when they officially launched their own Android app store, not to mention the fact that they were probably already working on the Android-powered Kindle Fire.

Patents then? RIM holds their fair share of wireless patents many of which could come in handy if Amazon ever chose to pursue a stronger presence in the mobile space. It’s a definite possibility, but with both parties keeping quiet on the subject, we may never know for sure.

Amazon apparently wasn’t the only one floating the notion of a RIM acquisition: Reuters mentions that bankers have tried to convince HTC and Samsung to make a move, although they made the obvious choice to ignore their ailing competitor.

Now it appears that RIM is looking to brave the market alone once again, as the company’s board has told co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis to forget the idea of selling parts of the business. The company also seems to have begun a campaign of bright-eyed optimism in an attempt to convince people that the best is yet to come. Their most recent quarterly financials were filled with such bright-eyed gems as “we are more determined than ever to capitalize on our strengths,” and the company’s pair of CEOs announced shortly afterward that they would reduce their salaries to $1 per year.

Whether or not these maneuvers are enough to ease shareholder concerns is still up in the air, though a quick look at their stock performance shows that it doesn’t seem to be working so far. With share prices plummeting and the release of their next-gen BlackBerry 10 devices being pushed later into 2012, I can’t help but wonder if RIM regrets rebuffing Amazon’s advances.