Facebook, Amazon May Buy BlackBerry Maker: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

It has been another tough week for employees at Research in Motion (RIM). The company behind the ground-breaking BlackBerry smartphone has continued its major restructuring campaign with thousands more layoffs.

At the same time, new reports are suggesting the Waterloo, Canada-based firm could soon split in two, in which case big-time tech firms like Amazon or Facebook might move in to acquire a half.

It has been rumored for several months that RIM would make significant layoffs after the failure last year of several key products. The most notable disappointment was the company's PlayBook tablet computer.

Lacking the hundreds of thousands of apps available to iPad users through Apple's iTunes Store, the PlayBook turned out to be a tough sell.

RIM has also failed to produce a new version of its once-popular BlackBerry that would be capable of luring consumers away from the iPhone and from the many successful Android-based handheld devices.

Old Habits Die Hard for RIM

Rounds of layoffs are becoming almost commonplace for the former leader in the technology business.

In July, 2011, RIM cut 2,000 jobs, leaving it with about 16,500 employees worldwide. This past week, that number was further reduced by approximately 2,000 more job cuts.

It's not yet clear if or when RIM will stop sending pink slips to various ranks of its employees. Some experts speculate the total number of jobs lost at the Blackberry maker could reach 6,000.

Insiders suggest the job cuts are intended to save RIM about $1 billion in operating costs each year.

No one particular division or department within RIM appears to have suffered more cuts than any other. Reports indicate that every department has been asked to do some trimming. (Source: informationweek.com)

Observers believe more details about this second round of job cuts will become public when RIM releases its quarterly earnings report on June 28, 2012.

Amazon, Facebook Interested in Takeover?

The newest rumor concerning RIM has top management thinking about extending the ongoing restructuring program by splitting the company into two parts: one would focus on messaging, the other on handheld device production.

According to Britain's The Sunday Times, one of those new companies might be put on the block for acquisition by another firm. Both Amazon and Facebook have been mentioned as potential buyers, though neither of those firms have commented on the rumor. (Source: reuters.com)

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