Shares of Research In Motion Ltd. are climbing on rumours that the BlackBerry maker may be bought by software giant Microsoft Corp. RIM shares set a new trading record by rising as high as $89.68 (up $2.88 ) in late morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. By the close, the stock has fallen back to $87.62, up 82 cents. "Microsoft has been mentioned as a possible buyer," Frederic Ruffy, an analyst at options education firm Optionetics, told Reuters. "According to speculation, the software giant might be interested in RIM in response to Google's recent announcement that it is interested in making its own mobile phone operating system, which would compete with Windows Mobile."
A number of analysts were quick to splash cold water on the rumours. "We're hearing the same rumour everyone else is, the Microsoft and RIM rumour,'' Steve Sachs, head of trading at Rydex Investments in Rockville, Md., told Bloomberg. "I can't even count the number of times we've heard that over the last three years.'' Both Waterloo, Ont.-based RIM and Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft declined to comment on the rumours. RIM's current market capitalization is about $48 billion, which would make a purchase of the company expensive. Microsoft, however, has deep pockets.