Does RIM really want to promote economic protectionism?

Research in Motion Inc. should not be trying to stir up nationalistsentiment over Ericsson’s agreement to buy Nortel Networks Corp.’scarrier wireless assets, a Calgary radio host has suggested.

RobBreakenridge, host of CHQR AM 770’s TheWorld Tonight, does not seem to think that members of theHouse of Commons Industry, Science and Technology Committee will beasking RIM officials the hard questions on Friday.

On his showWednesday night, he interviewed Network World Canada about Ericsson’sagreement to buy Nortel’s carrier wireless assets, RIM’sobjection and a parliamentary committeehearing scheduled tomorrow.

To listen to a replay, goto the CHQR’s audiovault and select Wednesday Aug. 5 at 7:00 p.m. Fast forwardto 32 minutes, and you can listen to the entire interview.

Duringthe show, I said members of the House of Commons Standing Committee onIndustry, Science and Technology should press Research in Motion fordetails on why the Ericsson-Nortel deal is a national security concernand how many Nortel employees RIM is prepared to hire if it could buythe Nortel assets it wants.

Breakenridge wondered whether thecommittee members will ask these questions to RIM, or whether we willsee “grandstanding” that Nortel “is going to be snapped up byforeigners, our economy’s being hollowed out, everything’s being boughtout? My suspicion is it’s going to be the latter.”

He also warned companies like RIM should not be using these arguments to advance their ambitions.

“Theydo business in other countries,” Breakenridge said of RIM. “At somepoint do those countries say, ‘Hey, you guys wanted favourabletreatment in your country, so maybe in this country, we’ll givefavourable treatment to our own companies. Sorry RIM.’ I don’t thinkthis is the kind of Pandora’s box you want to open.”

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