The BlackBerry maker could be snapped up by Microsoft as it seeks to fend off Google

Microsoft to buyout RIM?

Speculation suggests the BlackBerry maker will be bought to advance Microsoft’s mobile market share. According to Reuters – Frederic Ruffy, an analyst at Optionetics said: "Microsoft has been mentioned as a possible buyer."

"According to speculation, the software giant might be interested in RIM in response to recent news that Google is interested in making its own mobile-phone operating system, which would compete with Windows Mobile."

Recent RIM revenues have been strong, however it is normal for their shares to fluctuate even in the absence of news.

The BlackBerry range of smartphoned has created a firm grip upon the professional market but has not indicated any serious intentions to move into the consumer-focused market.

RIM has begun loading up its phones with multimedia features such as MP3 players and cameras. It has also partnered with retailers carrying the phone to make them more affordable.

Microsoft, who are speculated to be interested in a deal, could be hoping to counter Googles slow, yet steady advances into the mobile market.

Rebecca Engmann Darst, an equity options analyst at Interactive Brokers Group, said: "I’ve seen the rumours on RIM and there has been interest in the front-month calls, which allow investors to buy RIM shares at $80 all the way to $93.375 apiece."

No comment has been made by either company.

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