Canadian Treasury Board President Tony Clement said the federal government would cite national security as reasons in scrutinising the potential buyer of Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry in case it would be a foreign company.
He did not reject the idea of a foreign company buying BlackBerry since Mr Clement believes the sale should be in response to market forces. The only thing that the government would prefer is a stable environment for BlackBerry which had suffered financially from the poor sales of its new line of smartphones.
"We have a role to play obviously, which involves national security and making sure that what occurs is in the public interest and we take that responsibility seriously," The Globe and Mail quoted Mr Clement who spoke on Wednesday at the sidelines of the Government Technology Exhibition and Conference.
Investment Canada Act is the law that oversees foreign takeover of local companies. In the past, the law was invoked to reject buyouts such as the Potash Corporation. Citing national security, the Act was cited in blocking the attempted buy-in this week of the Manitoba Telecom Services by Accelero Capital Holdings of Egypt.
Among the foreign companies that are speculated to have an interest in purchasing the financially hemorrhaging BlackBerry are Google, Cisco, SAP and Microsoft.
In September, Fairfax Financial made a conditional takeover offer for BlackBerry at $9 per share r $4.7 billion. Fairfax, BlackBerry's largest shareholder, said that the consortium interested in buying out the company is made up 100 per cent of Canadian investors.
As part of the cost-cutting measures that BlackBerry is putting into place, the Canadian firm announced this week that it would lay off 300 employees from its head office, while another 4,500 jobs would be axed in the coming months, bringing to 7,000 the total number of employees who have lost their jobs.