Microsoft has become the latest company to be linked to a potential acquisition of BlackBerry as the firm looks to boost its position in the enterprise mobile market.
According to reports, Microsoft has been eyeing up BlackBerry following the company's recent return to profitability, and gone as far to hire investment companies to evaluate whether a buyout of the company would make sense.
The move comes as Microsoft looks to boost its position in the business mobile market, according to the report, with figures out of Good Technology showing that Windows Phone claimed just one percent of enterprise smartphone activations in the first quarter of 2015.
In comparison iOS accounted for 73 percent, while Android claimed 26 percent of activations.
The Redmond-based firm is also said to be eyeing up BlackBerry's patents in the Internet of Vehicles (IoV), mobile platform and communications sectors.
Microsoft could have a bidding war on its hands though, as the report claims that a handful of Chinese firms including Huawei, Lenovo and Xiaomi are also interested in picking up BlackBerry.
However, the report notes that these companies likely would have a hard time getting the thumbs up from regulatory agencies in the US and Europe due to concerns surrounding national security, placing Microsoft as the front-runner.
This latest BlackBerry buyout rumour arrives just weeks after it was claimed that Apple could be interested in picking up the Canadian firm.
According to a report at Yahoo Finance, Apple is looking to further tighten its grip on the business market, and has its eye on BlackBerry's 44,000-strong patent portfolio which has long seen the firm regarded as a leader in enterprise security.
Buying BlackBerry could also see Apple making a play for public sector contracts, and some have speculated that the US government could be pushing Apple to acquire the struggling firm.
Sean Udall, CIO of Quantum Trading Strategies, said: "The one way this deal might work is if the US government [and others] want Apple to buy them because they're worried that BlackBerry, effectively, won't be around in its current form."
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