Microsoft is looking into a $1 billion acquisition of Nook Media LLC’s digital assets. The Redmond-based software giant already has a 16.8% stake in the firm, which is struggling to keep its head above water in a world dominated by Amazon.
The deal would give Microsoft the option of returning the college book assets to Barnes & Noble, while retaining the digital assets, which would include both the content and Nook devices, according to TechCrunch, which has seen the relevant documents. Not that there is currently much of a future for the Nook, even though it is a more proficient machine than their Kindle rival.
Also revealed is the fact that Nook is to discontinue its Android reader business by the end of 2014 and concentrate on third-party devices. It has long been rumored that the plug was to be pulled on the e-reader, and this is the closest we’ve come to confirmation of the news.
What is not clear so far is whether these third-party devices will be Microsoft’s Surface, or units running Windows 8, or whether the deal merely gives Microsoft a huge heft of digital content to play with and make money from.