Kobo to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant for $315 million

By on November 8, 2011 at 9:00 PM.

Kobo to be acquired by Japanese e-commerce giant for $315 million

Kobo, purveyor of eReaders and eBook software across a variety of platforms, announced on Tuesday that it will be acquired by Japan-based Rakuten. Rakuten will purchase 100% of outstanding shares of of Kobo for $315 million in cash. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Kobo was spun off of Canadian retailer Indigo in late 2009, and the company has struggled to compete against the likes of Amazon and Barnes & Noble in the eBook space. “We are very excited about this next step,” said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani in a statement. “Kobo provides one of the world’s most communal eBook reading experiences with its innovative integration of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter; while Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies, including Buy.com in the US, Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, Lekutian in China, TARAD in Thailand, and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, and of course, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan.” Kobo’s full press release follows below. More →

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Kobo launches Kobo eReader Touch Edition [video]

By on May 23, 2011 at 11:25 PM.

Kobo launches Kobo eReader Touch Edition [video]

Kobo on Monday took the wraps off its latest eBook reader, which touts one feature in particular that should be of interest to future eReader buyers: touch. The unveiling comes just one day ahead of Barnes & Nobles’s press event in New York City — which we’ll be covering live — where the company is expected to introduce its new black and white NOOK. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition, also a black and white reader, features a 6-inch “Real Touch” E Ink touchscreen display with 16 shades of grey, Wi-Fi connectivity and a library of over 2.3 million books, newspapers and magazines, including over a million free titles. Kobo’s new eReader can store up to 1,000 books locally and another 30,000 on a removable SD card, and it weighs in at a feather-light 200 grams. The Kobo eReader Touch Edition is available for pre-order immediately from Best Buy, Walmart, Borders and Indigo for $129.99, and it will begin shipping in July. Kobo’s previous-generation reader has dropped to $99.99 as of Monday. Hit the break for Kobo’s full press release and a video. More →

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Borders launches Kobo-powered online eBook store

By on July 7, 2010 at 1:31 PM.

Borders launches Kobo-powered online eBook store

borders-ebooks-store

Borders dove head first into the eBook market today with the launch of its new eBook store. Powered by the Kobo eReading service, the online bookstore will launch with a catalog of over 150,000 eBooks in ePub, PDF, and Adobe DRM format. Supporting a wide variety of platforms, Border’s eBooks can be read on your PC or Mac desktop as well as your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry or Android-powered mobile phone. Borders will also be selling the Kobo eReader which includes a 6-inch e-ink screen, support for flexible fonts, desktop syncing, bluetooth syncing with a smartphone, 1GB storage and a 4-way d-pad with center selection. The eReader will launch with a competitive $149 price tag and will be available both online and in select retail stores. Head over to Border’s website to browse the eBook selection and see how Border’s offering stands up to the competition. More →

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