Microsoft is reportedly looking to buy up the digital assets of Nook Media in a $1 billion deal.
TechCrunch is claiming to have obtained internal documents outlining such a proposed deal for key elements of the ebook company. Microsoft will offer $1 billion to obtain the Barnes & Noble subsidiary’s entire ebook and tablet operation.
The document also reveals that Nook Media will stop producing Android-based tablets like the Nook HD by the end of the 2014 fiscal year. Rather, the company will move to a model where it offers its content through “third-party partner” devices.
It’s not clear exactly what form these third-party devices will take – or what part (if any) Microsoft will play in their creation – but they’re set to see the light of day next year.
As for those pure Nook e-reader devices, they won’t be discontinued in the immediate future. Rather, Nook sees a natural decline and phase out as the entire e-book format disappears with the rise of the tablet.
Microsoft already owns a 16.8 percent stake in Nook Media, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that the company would want to extend its investment in order to own and control a sizable digital content library – especially at such a steal of a price.
$1 billion might sound like a lot, but it’s significantly less than the initial Barnes & Noble valuation of $1.7 billion when Nook Media was first formed in October of last year.
For a decent Nook HD alternative, check out our Kindle Fire HD 8.9 review.