James Musgrove discusses foreign acquisition of BlackBerry with Lexpert 

news & knowledge 

March 18, 2015

In the March edition of Lexpert Magazine, James Musgrove, Co-Chair Competition and Antitrust, outlines the potential issues South Korea's Samsung Electronics may run into when trying to acquire BlackBerry. Musgrove is quoted as saying, "In my opinion a sale to any foreign entity, even the friendliest national foreign entity, would trigger a national security review because this actually is sensitive from a national security point of view."

Musgrove points to BlackBerry's back-end security system and use of devices by government officials as a key national security concern. The Investment Canada Act would allow the government to request a national security review of any foreign entity interested in investing in a Canadian company, as it may be "injurious to national security."

He goes on to say that the country of the prospective buyer would ultimately shape the outcome. "There are three distinct buckets of countries from a security standpoint and I think it makes a difference," he says. "The first is countries where relations are fraught, where I think a sale would likely fail a national security review. The second is countries that are very close allies, the so-called Five Eyes countries [Canada, the US, the UK, Australia and New Zealand] where I think a sale would ultimately pass a national security review. Then there's a middle bucket of countries, where I actually don't know."

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