RIM up in arms over Nortel wireless auction

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RIM up in arms over Nortel wireless auction

Alex Scroxton

As Nortel and its administrators wrap up the fire sale of the bankrupt vendor's assets. Research in Motion (RIM), maker of the Blackberry, has called foul over the way the auctions have been handled.

RIM claims it would have been prepared to offer up to $1.1bn for Nortel's profitable wireless business; almost double the offer made by Nokia Siemens Networks, but was told that if it did put in a higher bid, it would have to undertake not to bid for any other assets.

The firm alleges that Nortel and its advisors were fully aware that the smart phone builder was sniffing around other parts of the business, and accused the vendor, its advisors and court-appointed monitors of rejecting RIM's "repeated attempts" to engage in "meaningful discussions".

Playing on RIM's own Canadian heritage - it is based near Nortel in Ontario - Co-CEO Jim Balsillie said he was disappointed that "Nortel's world-leading technology, the development of which has been funded in part by Canadian taxpayers, seems destined to leave Canada and that Canada's own Export Development Corporation is preparing to help by lending $300m to another bidder [Nokia Siemens]."

"RIM remains extremely interested in acquiring Nortel assets through a Canadian ownership solution but has found itself blocked at every turn," he added.

The sale of the wireless business is set to be finalised this week, with front-runner Nokia Siemens duking it out with VC creditor MatlinPatterson, and yesterday afternoon Nortel's enterprise business went to Avaya in a $475m deal.

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