BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will examine BlackBerry’s BBRY.OBB.TO planned acquisition of Secusmart, whose encryption technology protects the devices of government officials including Angela Merkel.
BlackBerry, which is trying to reinvent itself under new Chief Executive John Chen, wants to buy the privately held German firm to burnish its credentials with highly security-conscious clients like government agencies.
But a spokeswoman for the German economy ministry said on Wednesday the ministry would have to check whether German security would be affected by the sale.
She said the ministry would decide within a month whether a deeper investigation was necessary, at the end of which the government could block the sale.
German Chancellor Merkel, whose mobile phone was eavesdropped on by the U.S. National Security Agency, has a BlackBerry mobile device with Secusmart encryption, as do many other members of the government administration.
Shares in BlackBerry, which fell as much as 4.5 percent on Tuesday’s news of the planned acquisition, traded up 1.6 percent at $9.67 on the Nasdaq and up 2 percent on the Toronto Stock Exchange at C$10.54 by 1946 GMT.
Reporting by Thorsten Severin; Writing by Georgina Prodhan, editing by David Evans