RIM presses against Nortel stiffarm

RIM-logo111X74.jpgNortel-logo187X46.JPGWATERLOO — Research In Motion (RIM) has gone to the press to disclose that it has been effectively prevented from submitting an offer for the Nortel Networks wireless business that is the subject of a bankruptcy auction scheduled for Friday (July 24). The assets being sold are Nortel's CDMA and Long Term Evolution Access businesses, in which Nortel develops current and next generation technology for wireless infrastructure and mobile devices. RIM sought to be included as a qualified bidder in Nortel's auction bidding process, but was told it could be qualified only if it promised not to submit offers for other Nortel assets for a period of one year. This condition would frustrate another RIM initiative that Nortel was aware of, to purchase key portions of Nortel's business in order to keep them under Canadian ownership. Jim Balsillie, RIM's co-chief executive officer, says in a press release that "RIM is extremely disappointed that Nortel's world leading technology, the development of which has been funded in part by Canadian taxpayers, seems destined to leave Canada and that Canada's own Export Development Corporation is preparing to help by lending $300 million to another bidder. RIM remains extremely interested in acquiring Nortel assets through a Canadian ownership solution that would serve the dual purpose of keeping key wireless technologies in Canada and extending RIM's leadership in the research, development and distribution of leading edge wireless solutions, but RIM has found itself blocked at every turn." RIM wants the federal government to intervene, asserting that the loss of Canadian ownership of Nortel's wireless businesses may adversely affect national interests, with potential national security implications.

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