Microsoft is considering offering Barnes & Noble $1 billion to buyout the Nook Media business, an asset that the Washington-based technology company already has a 16.8% stake in, according to a report in TechCrunch. Microsoft would redeem some of its shares in Nook Media, and take over the Nook eBook and tablet business. Here is more from TechCrunch:
The documents also reveal that Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android-based tablet business by the end of its 2014 fiscal year as it transitions to a model where Nook content is distributed through apps on “third-party partner” devices. Speculation about the plan to discontinue the Nook surfaced in February. The documents we have are not clear on whether the third-party tablets would be Microsoft’s own Windows 8 devices, tablets made by others (including competing platforms) or both. Third-party tablets, according to the document, are due to get introduced in 2014.
According to TechCrunch Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android-based tablet business and distribute content through third-party devices and apps. Nook content is already available on Microsoft’s tablet through a Nook Windows 8 app.
Microsoft has been working with Barnes & Noble last year, when the two companies came together to form a digital content subsidiary which included combining Barnes & Noble’s digital and college businesses into one business unit. As part of the partnership, Microsoft invested $300 million in the company. Last year, publishing company Pearson acquired a 5% equity stake in the Nook business after investing $89.5 million in the business.