By Preston Gralla
Barnes & Noble may be shopping its successful Nook business around not because the ereader is in trouble, but because it's become such a whopping success. Two potential suitors include Google and Microsoft -- and Google is clearly the better choice.
Yesterday Barnes & Noble reported its earnings, and company executives said that they are considering spinning off the Nook business, either entirely or in part.
There are two reasons for the possible spinoff. First is that the Nook business may be worth much more as an independent company or partially owned by Barnes & Noble. Second is that Barnes & Noble may find it hard to continue to spend the hundreds of millions of dollars annually required to continue to grow the Nook.
The New York Times notes that the NOOK has been able to gain almost 30% of the ereader market share in the two years since it was launched, despite the Kindle's head start. Doing that costs plenty of money; the Times notes that by one estimate Barnes & Noble spends between $200 and $250 million a year on the Nook.