Microsoft is reportedly offering a cool $1 billion to acquire the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the Barnes & Noble joint venture with other investors, taking the company’s eBook, college book, e-reader, and tablet businesses.
Rumours have been floating around over the last month that Nook was looking to get out of the tablet and e-reader markets that have become increasingly competitive over the last 24 months, and focus on its eBook business, where users can read Nook-bought material on other third party phones, tablets, and e-readers.
Microsoft has been working with B&N for the last year after it paid the company $300 million for a 16.8% stake in the company to work with their devices and content, with Nook agreeing to develop content and services for Microsoft’s Windows 8 devices.
There is little information as yet, as to what Microsoft might be planning for the Nook business, but with Apple, Google, and Amazon all offering eBook material in their digital stores, an acquisition of the Nook business would give Microsoft a quick way to play catch up. More interestingly, Nook offers a line of Android-powered low budget tablets, and Microsoft could use that market share for the still slowly growing Windows 8.