Canada may have to review future RIM handset unit sale

OTTAWA Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:25pm IST

(From top to bottom) A Blackberry Bold smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Note phablet, and an Apple iPad 2 tablet are displayed in this illustration photo in Hong Kong January 3, 2013. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

(From top to bottom) A Blackberry Bold smartphone, a Samsung Galaxy Note phablet, and an Apple iPad 2 tablet are displayed in this illustration photo in Hong Kong January 3, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Bobby Yip

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government might have to review any sale of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd's RIM.TORIMM.O handset business to a foreign buyer, Industry Minister Christian Paradis told Reuters on Tuesday.

Asked if he would allow such a sale to a foreign company, Paradis said: "It's speculation and each decision on each case is based on its own merit, so it would premature for me to speculate on any of these kinds of cases.

"So if something was going to occur, then we would have to determine if it was reviewable or not, depending on the threshold (of the value of the transaction), and then we go with the net-benefit test."

He was referring to a provision in the Investment Canada Act that requires the government to determine whether certain foreign investments in Canada are of net benefit to the country.

The markets have gained renewed excitement over RIM because of its new BlackBerry 10 operating system and because Chief Executive Thorsten Heins said its strategic review could potentially lead to the sale of its handset business.

"We hope to see RIM remain a global leader and player, and make sure it can grow organically," Paradis said by phone from Germany, where he is meeting with industrial leaders to promote Canada as a place to invest and to learn how they innovate.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper told Reuters last February that he wanted to see RIM grow "as a Canadian company." He singled out hostile takeovers and bids for what he described as "critical technology" companies as ones that Ottawa might block.

On a separate topic, Paradis said the government did not intend at present to lift foreign ownership restrictions on Canada's large telephone companies.

In March it eliminated foreign ownership restrictions on telecommunications carriers with a market share of 10 percent or less. But the rules remained for large companies including BCE Inc (BCE.TO), Rogers Communications Inc (RCIb.TO), Telus Corp (T.TO) and Shaw Communications Inc (SJRb.TO).

For such companies, foreign ownership is limited to 20 percent of voting shares and indirect control to 46.7 percent.

He said if Canada were to change rules for the large telecom carriers, it would get tangled up with separate rules on broadcasting companies, which are required to have a minimum of Canadian broadcasting content.

"This is not in the cards of our government to go further down this road as we speak," he said.

(Reporting by Randall Palmer; Editing by W Simon and Jeffrey Benkoe)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Legal Trouble

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Hacking Threat

Hacking Threat

All at sea: global shipping fleet exposed to hacking threat.  Full Article 

Mt. Gox Update

Mt. Gox Update

Tokyo Court orders bankruptcy trustee to begin Mt. Gox liquidation .  Full Article 

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality

U.S. regulators to propose new net neutrality rules in May.  Full Article 

Facebook Results

Facebook Results

Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads.  Full Article | Related Story 

Huawei Shrugs

Huawei Shrugs

China's Huawei says reports of NSA spying won't impact growth  Full Article 

Betting on Content

Betting on Content

AOL, Microsoft lure advertisers with TV-style shows.  Full Article 

Restructuring Plans

Restructuring Plans

Zynga's Pincus withdraws from operations amid turnaround.  Full Article 

Security Threat

Security Threat

FBI warns healthcare sector vulnerable to cyber attacks.  Full Article 

Online Streaming

Online Streaming

Amazon grabs rights to stream older HBO shows.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage