April 30, 2012

Microsoft Deal Adds to Battle Over E-Books

Employees at a Barnes & Noble in Emeryville, Calif.
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg NewsEmployees at a Barnes & Noble in Emeryville, Calif.
Microsoft agreed to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in Barnes & Noble’s Nook division on Monday, giving the bookstore chain stronger footing in the hotly contested electronic book market and creating an alliance that could intensify the fight over the future of digital reading.
The deal, which gives Microsoft a 17.6 percent stake, values the Nook unit at $1.7 billion — roughly double Barnes & Noble’s entire market value as of last Friday — and bolsters the bookseller’s efforts to make its digital business the linchpin of its future growth.

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