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Borders Books is going away but Kobo Books is here to stay
      #41006 - 07/20/11 01:54 AM

I know many of you have read the sad news that Borders is closing down all stores (399) and letting all employees go. They couldn't find a buyer and couldn't raise the cash to stay in business. Here in the US, Borders partnered with Kobo Books for some of their ereader line (Borders stores also carried Sony Readers and low end ereader brands). Kobo, a privately owned Canadian company has issued a press release to stem the tide of possible panic.

The message is that they're still open for business and aren't significantly impacted by the Borders complete liquidation. Borders owned an 11% stake in Kobo, not enough to tank this reasonably popular purveyor of epub ebooks and ereaders like the new Kobo Touch (yes, we'll have a review someday, our first review unit was lost by FedEx and Kobo's working on getting us another).

Here's the press release:

? Kobo is a privately-held company that offers over 2.4 million eBooks, newspapers, and magazines -- one of the largest eReading catalogues in the world.

? Readers from over 100 countries across the globe download and read using Kobo?s top-ranked eReading applications for iPad, iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Windows and MacOS. Kobo is the eReading application of choice for leading tablet OEMs.

? While Borders is one of the early investors in Kobo, it holds only a minority stake in Kobo, approximately 11 percent. The Borders shares are subject to the terms of the Kobo shareholders? agreement which, among other things, restricts their transfer or disposition.

? Borders serves as part of Kobo?s distribution in the U.S. along with Best Buy, Walmart, Sears and other top retailers.

? Kobo does not rely on Borders for content. Kobo owns the publishing agreements and has direct relationships with all major publishers, including Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, St. Martin?s Press and many more. Kobo is solely responsible for payment to publishers for eBooks sold through the Kobo platform and publishers will continue to be paid on time as usual.

? For some time, Kobo and Borders have been in the process of transitioning Borders' customers' eBook accounts to Kobo, in order to provide such customers direct access to the most up-to-date eReading functionality, apps and devices. All Borders customers that have transitioned to Kobo shall enjoy uninterrupted access to their e-Reading accounts. Kobo shall continue to work with Borders to transition customer accounts to Kobo.

? For those Borders customers who haven?t transferred their eBook libraries to Kobo, the process is quick and easy. Borders customers can visit to transfer their Borders eBook library to Kobo. No additional steps are required to continue reading on your Kobo eReader. For those Borders customers that are using Borders apps to access their eBook libraries, visit to download a free Kobo eReading app for your computer, smartphone or tablet.

? Owners of Kobo eReaders will continue to use their Kobo eReader as usual, and be able to browse and shop for new titles in the Kobo Store with no interruption or change in service.

? Kobo continues to grow in the U.S. and around the world. Kobo is very pleased with progress of the launch of the new Kobo eReader Touch Edition which is available at leading retailers including Indigo, Walmart, Best Buy and WH Smith.

? Kobo continues to build international growth with the successful launch of Kobo in Germany, the first rollout of several planned international launches.

As an interested party in the Borders bankruptcy proceedings, Kobo has made certain filings with the court to preserve its legal rights moving forward.

Kobo offers their support to the Borders? community of employees, families and friends.


Lisa Gade
Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview

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