“Microsoft is offering to pay $1 billion to buy the digital assets of Nook Media LLC, the digital book and college book joint venture with Barnes & Noble and other investors, according to internal documents we’ve obtained,” Eric Eldon reports for TechCrunch. “In this plan, Microsoft would redeem preferred units in Nook Media, which also includes a college book division, leaving it with the digital operation — e-books, as well as Nook e-readers and tablets.”

“The documents also reveal that Nook Media plans to discontinue its Android-based tablet business by the end of its 2014 fiscal year as it transitions to a model where Nook content is distributed through apps on ‘third-party partner’ devices,” Eldon reports. “Speculation about the plan to discontinue the Nook surfaced in February. The documents we have are not clear on whether the third-party tablets would be Microsoft’s own Windows 8 devices, tablets made by others (including competing platforms) or both. Third-party tablets, according to the document, are due to get introduced in 2014.”

Eldon reports, “The Nook division has taken a beating this year following a slow holiday season. The new models have sold at a discount for weeks at a time and their flagship 10-inch Nook HD+ fell from $269 to $179. Kindle is offering the Fire HD for the same price. The hardware, while in many ways superior to Amazon’s, seems to have fallen behind in the race to market share and revenue. If Microsoft steps in, the dedicated e-reader race between the stalwart B&N and Jeff Bezos’ Amazon could be over.”

Read more in the full article here.

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