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What would Microsoft buying Barnes & Noble's Nook business mean?

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Jae C. Hong/AP

(Read caption) Shoppers browse through books at a Barnes & Noble location in Los Angeles. The bookseller announced Thursday that Liberty Media would be reducing its stake in the company by 10 percent.

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Has Microsoft offered to buy Nook Media, the part of Barnes & Noble that focuses on digital products and its college stores?

According to company documents unearthed by the website TechCrunch, Microsoft is offering to purchase the digital assets of Nook Media for $1 billion. This would include Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-readers, e-books, and tablets.

Also interesting: according to the documents, Barnes & Noble plans to stop producing its Nook tablet devices by the end of the fiscal year 2014. Instead, the company is focusing on a plan where content produced by Nook could be accessed by users through apps on what the company called “third-party partner” hardware. The documents didn’t specifically mention Nook e-readers, according to TechCrunch. Whether this would involve Microsoft tablets such as the Microsoft Surface is unknown.

Microsoft had already teamed up with Barnes & Noble, investing $300 million in the company in April of last year and announcing that it would be working with B&N on the digital side of its business.

Neither Barnes & Noble nor Microsoft commented to TechCrunch for the article.


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