Samsung and BlackBerry both refute acquisition report

A Reuters report claiming Samsung Electronics recently offered to buy BlackBerry in order to help it better compete in the enterprise market has been refuted by both companies.

So concerned was BlackBerry by the report that it even moved to publish a press release on the matter, while at the same time stressing it doesn’t comment on rumour and speculation. “BlackBerry Limited is aware of certain press reports published today with respect to a possible offer by Samsung to purchase BlackBerry,” it said. “BlackBerry has not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry.”

Meanwhile Reuters itself published a similarly clipped rebuttal from an unnamed Samsung spokesperson, who said: “Media reports of the acquisition are groundless.” It should also be noted that Reuters itself has not corrected or retracted its original story in the light of the denials.

It’s not unprecedented for companies to publicly deny plans to do something, then go ahead and do it anyway. Often they utilise ambiguous and/or legalistic language to deny a specific intention but leave open the possibility of pursuing another very similar course of action. Having said that Reuters could be just plain wrong, but it does claim to have seen some corroborating documents.

BlackBerry has been a potential acquisition target ever since its smartphone sales started to nosedive, but failed acquisitions, such as HP’s of Palm, have made the market cautious. The reason it’s so plausible that Samsung might suddenly be prepared to take such a risk is its presumed desperation to arrest the declines in its global smartphone market share.

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