Rumor: Microsoft interested in buying Nook for $1 billion

May 9, 2013
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Last week, B&N changed its tablet game in a big way, introducing Google Play support in a move that could put additional pressure on Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets.

So what’s next for B&N and its Nook tablet strategy? If a new report is to be believed, Google Play was simply an end-game move, as the company is looking to discontinue its Android tablet business next year. Even more intriguing is the possibility that Microsoft is looking to buy out the digital assets of Nook Media for $1 billion.

The report comes from alleged internal documents that have made their way into the hands of the good folks over at TechCrunch. The documents do not indicate what Microsoft plans to do if they end up buying out the Nook division, but they do point to B&N’s future plans for their digital content if they stay in control of it.

Instead of their own tablets, B&N supposedly would partner with third-party vendors to distribute their digital content. They would also continue with their existing Nook e-reader line.

Does this move make sense for B&N?

Microsoft already owns 16.8 percent of Nook Media. B&N continues to see declining interest for its Nook HD and HD+ tablets. Selling off the Nook line or ending support of Nook Android tablets wouldn’t have seemed so surprising just a week ago.

Of course, that was before B&N decided to unleash Google Play onto the device and cut the prices in time for Mother’s Day.

There has already been some speculation that releasing the Play Store was simply the Nook’s way of throwing in the towel. While that’s possible, it seems a little short-sided in thought. B&N has already received quite a bit of hype since announcing Google Play support. This means there are folks that are interested in the Nook tablets, provided there are more apps.

Shouldn’tย B&N at least see where a strategy of supporting Google Play alongside its own digital content takes the company before deciding on the fate of its Android tablet business?ย For now, I’d take the report with a grain of salt. Will it is certainly possible, nothing is official until B&N says so.

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