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Barnes & Noble, Microsoft in e-book gambit
e-book deal » Bookseller’s stock surges after tech giant’s $300M investment in Nook.


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Under that plan, the college bookstore unit was proposed to begin as a private business but become public within a "reasonable" amount of time. G Asset’s offer was contingent upon Barnes & Noble keeping current management in place and separating its Nook e-business from the rest of the company. At the time the offer was made, Barnes & Noble declined to comment.

In 2009, Barnes & Noble Inc. bought the college bookstore unit from Chairman Leonard Riggio in a deal worth $596 million. The deal ended up costing Barnes & Noble $460 million after accounting for the unit’s cash on hand at the closing date.

At a glance

Barnes & Noble and the e-reader competition

Here’s how sales of Barnes & Noble’s Nook stacked up against competitors in both the tablet and e-reader market in the October to December period:

Apple » 15.4 million iPads

Amazon.com » 4.7 million tablet-like Kindle Fires, plus 6.1 million black-and-white Kindles

Barnes & Noble » 1 million Nook Tablets and Nook Color units, plus 1.4 million black-and-white Nooks

Samsung » 1.6 million tablets

Source: Research firm IDC

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