Usually when we hear one big company is interested in buying out another big company, there’s an element of “Hmm, didn’t see that one coming…” But in the case of Microsoft reportedly toying with the idea of paying $1 billion for Barnes & Noble’s Nook business, it’s more of “It’s about time those two crazy kids made formal commitment.” Microsoft already invested $300 million in Nook last year, and it seems prepared to go all the way.
According to TechCrunch, which says it obtained documents laying out the deal to procure the digital assets of Nook, Microsoft would take over the digital operations of its e-books, Nook e-readers and tablets.
Another sign that Barnes & Noble is ready and willing to shed its Nook business popped up a few months ago, when B&N founder Leonard Riggio, started looking into buying the company back, but without Nook as part of that plan.
Included in the documents TechCrunch is citing are plans to end Nook’s Android-based tablet business by the end of the 2014 fiscal year, and instead peddle Nook content through apps on “third-party partner” devices. That could be quite a nice fit for Microsoft’s very own Windows 8 tablets.
Nook’s e-readers will also go the way of the dinosaur, it seems, as the company will probably slowly phase them out as consumers continue to gravitate toward tablets that do it all, instead of just dedicated reading devices.
Neither side has commented on the rumored buyout, so we’ll keep an eye on the wedding announcements section of the Internet in the meantime.