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Canada keeping 'close eye' on ailing BlackBerry

The country's industry minister "wishes them well," but remains concerned about the company's future amid a decline in its financial health.
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Written by Zack Whittaker, Writer-editor on
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Image: BlackBerry

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called BlackBerry as a "crown jewel" to the country.

But despite keeping thousands of Canadians employed and billions pumping into the country's economy each year, the Canadian government may well just sit by and let the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker wind down, split up, or sell-off.

According to a Reuters interview, industry minister James Moore said it was "unfortunate" the company's two new phones, the touch-screen BlackBerry Z10 and the keyboard-enabled Q10, were not a hit with consumers. He noted he was aware of the company's current bid to explore routes that may end up seeing it split up and sold off to a rival firm. 

He said: "We wish them well, and we're keeping a close eye on the situation."

There have been rumors on deck for more than a year of a foreign takeover by Asian technology giants, such as Samsung, or even by China-based Lenovo, among others, which could run afoul of national security regulators. 

"We want them to do well, keep employing Canadians, keeping putting out innovative technologies and platforms," he added, "and we're paying close attention."

The country's government is worried, but it's not giving anything away yet. The country didn't step in to save network communications firm Nortel, which hit its economy (and morale) hard. Should the company fold — whether it's under its own weight or if it's taken over by another firm — the long-lasting implications for the country's technology industry could last years. 

Bloomberg estimates peg the company to be worth as much as $8.5 billion if broken up and sold in parts.

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