German media giant Bertelsmann has confirmed that it is to ditch BOL, Europe's second largest online bookstore, and instead concentrate on its own book club.
Bertelsmann's DirectGroup, the online bookstore arm of the firm, said that options for the disposal of BOL could include closing or selling it.
BOL had been at the heart of the German firm's e-commerce strategy, but had become a drain on the company during the tenure of recently ousted chief executive Thomas Middelhoff.
The division posted losses of €30m (£19.1m) last year and accounted for less than four per cent of DirectGroup's sales.
Bertelsmann has confirmed that it will phase out the German, Swiss, Dutch and Swedish operations of BOL, but said that reports of talks with Amazon hold nothing "concrete". Operations in China and Italy will be kept on.
Although the move indicates a retreat from its core web strategy, Bertelsmann will still focus on its online music retail arm, BeMusic, as well as its stake in online retailer Barnesandnoble.com.
Its own book clubs, run by the DirectGroup, will now be at the heart of Bertelsmann's €17bn (£10.8bn) business.
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