Canada’s industry minister discusses a foreign takeover of BlackBerry

Canadian Industry Minister James Moore has conducted a series of interviews in the immediate aftermath of the deteriorating situation at embattled Canadian smartphone giant BlackBerry.

In a recent interview, Canada Real Time asked the industry minister whether the Canadian government would use its foreign investment powers to intervene to prevent a foreign takeover of embattled tech giant.

“We will be watching developments closely. BlackBerry has been a force for innovation change in the wireless market. We want them to do incredibly well, to grow and prosper, and we will be keeping an eye on internal decisions at the firm. But I can’t beyond that speculate on what they may or may not do.

Moore also acknowledged the subjectivity involved in the takeover of a large Canadian firm like BlackBerry.

“Every country has subjectivity in their foreign investment rules, and for good reason. But we are aware there is some anxiety about Canadian rules and we will be addressing it soon. People think there is some uncertainty in the Investment Canada Act rules, and we want to make sure that’s not the case.”

In a separate interview with Bloomberg, Moore acknowledged the national sensitivities involved in the issue, despite the poor performance of recently released devices.

“This is a Canadian company with a long track record of stirring up innovation and important changes in the products we all use. They employ a great number of Canadians. It’s been a source of Canadian pride and we hope that they do well.

“[The BlackBerry 10 platform] hasn’t gone off with the success that they hoped that it would, and it’s for them to engage the market and provide devices and services, platforms, content that the market will receive well.”

Moore’s comments come a day after the smartphone giant announced a further 100 job cuts at its Waterloo, Ontario headquarters, after a horror week that saw the company put up for sale after a key director quit the board.

Canadian financier Prem Watsa and the Canada Pension Plan are shaping up as key bidders for the company amidst fears the Canadian government would block a foreign takeover of the company.


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