Microsoft is reportedly attempting to buy Barnes and Nobles’ Nook e-reader and software for $1 billion, according to documents obtained by TechCrunch. The Redmond, Wash.-based company is looking to purchase the digital assets of Nook Media LLC as well as the bookseller’s line of tablets and e-readers.
The documents indicate that Barnes and Noble plans to discontinue its Nook HD and Nook HD+ Android tablets by the end of 2014. The company’s focus would then shift to “third party partner” devices, but the paperwork didn’t specify what this would entail. It did indicate these “third party” devices would be released next year as e-readers and tablets are gradually phased out.
Microsoft already has a 16.8 percent stake in the company, but controlling all of its digital content and tablets would give it an edge when competing with Apple and Amazon. While the Windows Store is showing growth, it only houses about 50,000 apps. Meanwhile, Apple and Google’s stores are approaching the one million mark.
The Nook brand as a whole has been struggling in recent quarters. Revenue from last year’s holiday season was down by 26 percent compared to the prior year, as the company announced in February.