Microsoft is reportedly considering offering as much as $1 billion for Barnes & Noble’s Nook Media unit, of which it is already a partner, according to paperwork obtained by TechCrunch. The news bumped shares of Barnes & Noble roughly 21 percent at the time of publication, or $3.73 per share.
Barnes & Noble is also apparently readying to exit the Android tablet business altogether, perhaps on poor sales of its Android-based Nook tablets, and instead wants to focus on delivering its mobile application to other devices. The application serves as a portal to Barnes & Noble content, much like Amazon’s standalone app does. Apparently the company is going to continue building its eReaders, however.
Microsoft and Barnes & Noble completed a $300 million “Nook Media” joint venture in October. It includes Barnes & Noble’s college and digital businesses. Neither company has responded to the report.