Microsoft considering $1 billion offer to buy Nook Media

By on May 9, 2013, 10:32 AM

Already an investor in Barnes & Noble’s e-reader business, Microsoft is reportedly considering a $1 billion bid to buy complete control of Nook Media. The joint venture was spun off last year with the help of $300 million from Redmond for a 16.8% stake in the Nook e-reader, tablet and college bookstore business. Under the deal being discussed Microsoft would dump the college book division while retaining the digital assets.

Internal documents obtained by TechCrunch also mention Nook Media’s plans to pull out of the hardware business and instead focus more on distributing content through apps on “third-party partner” devices, consistent with rumors we heard back in February. This transition is expected to happen by the end of its 2014 fiscal year.

Curiously, the document says third-party tablets are due to be introduced in 2014, but it’s not clear how these devices might differ from what’s currently available on the market. As it stands right now, the Nook app is already available on Android, iOS and Windows.

The 10 million Nook devices sold so far won’t fall into the discontinuation pile immediately. Instead, the report suggest they’ll be supported for a while longer as they face their own gradual, natural decline in usage.

A deal would appear to suit B&N at a time revenue from content and devices continue to drop. But for Microsoft, whether paying $1 billion for a company that’s failing to take on Amazon is a smart business idea remains to be seen, as is what exactly this will bring to their platform that the Nook and Kindle apps don’t already offer.

User Comments: 8

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treeski treeski said:

Maybe they're spending a billion so they can finally get a Nook app for Windows Phone...

AnilD AnilD said:

Now that'd be a perfectly good waste of a billion dollars.

treeski treeski said:

For real though, it's probably to round out their media offerings. Music, games, videos and ebooks.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Microsoft doing another "one step forward, two steps backward."

JC713 JC713 said:

Now that'd be a perfectly good waste of a billion dollars.

No it isnt. Microsoft is desperate. It may be a bit too much, but it will be a good deal if it succeeds. Their OS will match perfectly on it. I agree with Tom though, it is one step forward and two steps backwards. 1 step forward = good implementation of the OS. 2 steps back = not worth $1 billion and Nook is not worth that money.

yRaz yRaz said:

Everyone likes to hates on Microsoft but they have remained very profitable. A billion dollars is hardly a scratch in their wallet. Investors might not be too happy but that isn't going to stop them from making money.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Id much rather see them invest in my company then throw it away on this. Microsoft, go into music, we will NOT disappoint you! "in all seriousness" good for you Microsoft, good for you...

coppersloane coppersloane said:

Everyone Hates Microsoft, and yet, everyone owes their personal computing experience to Microsoft and Microsoft alone. B&N Nook is very profitable because it has a profitable following. I personally know of more than a handful of people who are dreading their Nook becoming useless. Microsoft getting into e-readers and e-book sales is a great idea for the company and for publishing.

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