Amazon Considered Buying RIM This Past Summer

Nadia Damouni for Reuters:

Research In Motion Ltd has turned down takeover overtures from Inc and other potential buyers because the BlackBerry maker prefers to fix its problems on its own, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

RIM's board wants co-chief executives Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie to focus on trying to turn around the business through the launch of new phones, better use of assets such as BlackBerry Messaging and restructuring, two sources said. They did not want to be identified as the discussions are private. RIM and Amazon declined to comment.

Amazon hired an investment bank this summer to review a potential merger with RIM, but it did not make a formal offer, said one of the sources. It is not clear whether informal discussions between Amazon and RIM ever led to specific price talk, or who else had approached RIM about a takeover.

As I wrote before, "That's Enough, RIM."

The blame is often placed on Lazaridis and Balsillie for the company's downward spiral, but the board appears equally at fault.

Rumors indicate Amazon is working on a phone for next year, as well as a much improved Kindle Fire. The company has shown its awareness of what it takes to succeed in the industry, and has gained a strong marketshare in an extremely short period. Where RIM has failed disastrously, Amazon has shown its capability.

An offer to buy the company, incorporate its affinity for enterprise software, and its hardware manufacturing clout makes sense. From RIM's perspective, a buyout makes sense.

And yet, here we are, scratching our heads as the RIM board places its faith in its increasingly misguided co-CEOs.