Reuters

(Reuters)

Samsung Co-Ceo: Not Planning BlackBerry Acquisition

By Features Dow Jones Newswires

Samsung Electronics Co.'s co-chief executive said Monday that the company wants to develop its partnership with BlackBerry Ltd., but has no intention of acquiring the Canadian handset maker.

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"We want to work with BlackBerry and develop this partnership, not acquire the company," J.K. Shin, who heads Samsung's mobile-phone business, said in a statement to The Wall Street Journal.

Samsung is separately in talks with BlackBerry to extend the scope of its cooperation, including the potential use of BlackBerry technology in Samsung devices, the company said.

It didn't elaborate on the potential extension of its agreement.

Rumors of a possible acquisition of BlackBerry by Samsung have persisted for years, particularly as the Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone maker has struggled against competition in the smartphone market.

Mr. Shin said an acquisition of BlackBerry would be counter to the company's strategy. Samsung has built its ambitions for the enterprise market around its own security platform called Knox. Samsung, the world's largest maker of handsets, has invested heavily in Knox over the past few years, though it has struggled to gain traction with the platform and hasn't yet announced any prominent clients for the service.

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"We are satisfied with the progress of Knox, including the quality of security and protection that it enables, and remain committed to Knox over the long term," the company said.

In November, Samsung and BlackBerry signed an agreement that allows each company to sell the other's mobile-security technology. Samsung has signed similar deals with other enterprise security companies, including Citrix Systems Inc., Good Technology Inc., MobileIron Inc., and VMware Inc.'s AirWatch.

"We value all of our relationships," Samsung said.

Samsung also said that Samsung wasn't craving access to BlackBerry's patent portfolio, calling attention to its own patent portfolio, which is one of the biggest in the technology world. Samsung said that as of the end of 2013, it has registered more than 110,000 patents globally, including more than 34,000 in the U.S.

Analysts have said BlackBerry's 44,000 patents could be an attractive asset for Samsung, which has spent much of the past five years in a legal battle with Apple Inc. over patents. Samsung also has signed cross-licensing deals with partners like Google Inc., giving it some shelter from patent litigation.