Should Facebook Buy RIM? Inside Tech's Hottest New Acquisition Rumour

Posted by Knowlton Thomas

A month ago, the only companies that anyone could realistically see acquiring the embattled RIM were Samsung and Apple—smartphone makers who would buy the Waterloo BlackBerry maker for its war chest of relevant patents and the famed technology of its BBM platform and secure enterprise system. But perhaps the company best suited to pick up the remains of this fallen Canadian legend is actually Mark Zuckerberg's newly public Facebook.

First, we're pretty certain that Facebook is trying to build a smartphone.

Second, even though FB shares have sunk about 25% since debuting on May 18, the company did raise a staggering $12 billion through its IPO. It's also a profitable company.

Which leads us to point three: RIM, which is down 8% today, has an incredibly low valuation compared to its peak in 2008. Valued at just $6 billion with a share price of $10.32, it's a mere fraction of what it once was (roughly as much as Facebook is valued at today, coincidentally)—yet the company remains cash-flow positive, has $2 billion in the bank, and does not carry any debt.

Even factoring in an extreme premium paid over RIM's stock price, Facebook could buy the company in whole and still have billions left in its own vault of gold. Plus, unlike with Samsung or Apple, regulatory approval would be much simpler, considering it wouldn't be the case of a direct nemesis swallowing competition in the marketplace.

Globe and Mail technology reporter Omar El Akkad penned an article titled "Why Facebook would be smart to buy RIM," in which he argues that "a Facebook-RIM partnership would give the smartphone maker a social side, and the social network some serious hardware."

And former RBC analyst Mike Abramsky wrote a piece titled "Who Could update RIM's status? Facebook," in which he suggests that "selling [RIM] seems the best strategy now" and "Facebook has a serious mobile problem," concluding that the acquisition makes business sense for both companies to address each of their own major issues. 

However, the online peanut gallery seems to decidedly disagree with this sentiment. One online commenter harped on Omar with the following joke: "The corporate culture clash, if harnessed, could probably power a good sized Midwestern America town," while another jabbed, "I don't see the word 'smart' coming into play here."

Meanwhile, Mike was lambasted by "flabbergasted" trolling pundits, who clamoured that his article "makes no sense," "is a terrible idea," and "is a ridiculous argument to make."

Do you think RIM and Facebook could be happily married?

Company:
BlackBerry
Website:
http://www.blackberry.com
Location:
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry solution in 1999. Since then, BlackBerry products and services have continued to change the way millions of people around the world stay connected. With the launch of BlackBerry 10, we have re-designed, re-engineered and re-invented BlackBerry. Not only did we introduce a... more

Company:
Facebook
Website:
http://www.facebook.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Facebook's mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Millions of people use Facebook everyday to keep up with friends, upload an unlimited number of photos, share links and videos, and learn more about the people they meet. more


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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and exploring weird side streets. more



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