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RIM acquires Web browser developer Torch

Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry phone, Monday said it has acquired a Torch Mobile, a small Toronto-based company that is developing a Web browser for cell phones.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of the BlackBerry phone, Monday said it has acquired a Torch Mobile, a small Toronto-based company that is developing a Web browser for cell phones.

Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Torch's Iris browser is based on WebKit, the same code that underlies the browser in Apple Inc.'s iPhone, Palm Inc.'s Pre, Google Inc.'s Android phones and the latest high-end Nokia Corp. phones. The acquisition opens the possibility that Iris could replace RIM's own browser.

WebKit is "open source" software, meaning it's freely shared by companies and volunteers developing it. Waterloo, Ontario-based RIM said Torch's engineers would continue to participate actively in the WebKit development community.

Shares of the company shed $1.11 to $76.21 in afternoon trading.