Barnes & Noble Eyeing The Idea Of Breaking Up With Nook

Things with Barnes & Noble and its main squeeze Nook are a little frosty at the moment, as the company says it’s looking to separate from the costly e-book business. B&N didn’t do as well in the e-reader market this year, and keeping the relationship going would be more expensive than they’d like.

The Wall Street Journal says shares in the company sank 24% this morning as investors learned there were going to be more losses than previously predicted. The Nook Simple Touch and other Nook expansions fell short of expected sales.

“We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our Nook business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,” Chief Executive William Lynch said.

Even though the Nook has held its own against Amazon’s Kindle devices and the iPad, it takes a big financial investment in a product to continually update the devices and stay in that competition. One WSJ source says customers might even prefer the Nook over the Kindle, so far as digital reading experiences go.

B&N says they’re just exploring the idea of separating the businesses, and there is no expected timeline on when that decision could be made.

Barnes & Noble May Separate Nook Business as Losses Mount [Wall Street Journal]