In 2012, Microsoft invested some $300 million in Barnes & Nobles’ Nook e-reader to establish a working partnership. The investment was designed to improve the Nook, and better equip the nation’s largest remaining brick-and-mortar bookstore to compete with Amazon and its Kindle.
Now that partnership is over. In its quarterly earnings report, Barnes & Noble says it has bought out Microsoft’s 17.6% stake in its e-reader business after years of financial hardship. Untangling from Microsoft is being positioned as a necessary move, reports the New York Times, as the company prepares to split into two separate businesses—as a book company, and as a technology-focused e-reader business—in mid-2015.
Even though its business is struggling, the Nook still has other technology partnerships in place, such as with Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is currently being promoted on barnesandnoble.com at $180 for the 7-inch.