Microsoft is pulling the plug on its $300m investment in Barnes & Noble's Nook e-book reader. The move comes as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella continues to review the software giant's investment portfolio.
The Nook investment was made during Steve Ballmer's reign, and is evidently a legacy his successor is happy to see the back of. Nadella is taking a big loss on ending the deal, with Microsoft's stake being bought out for around $125m.
"As the respective business strategies of each company evolved, we mutually agreed that it made sense to terminate the agreement," said a company spokesperson in a statement.
Microsoft invested $300m in Nook in 2012 for which it got around a 17 percent stake in the business. Prior to the deal the firms had been engaged in a legal battle.
Andy Lees, president of Microsoft's Windows Phone division, said at the time: "Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them."
Since then, Barnes & Noble has cut the price of its hardware in the face of increased competition from Amazon and the Kindle. Last year, it parted company with its CEO as it faced up to lacklustre sales.
However, Barnes & Noble is not giving up on the e-reader, having recently announced a fresh Samsung Tab version.
"With the launch of the new large screen Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, we have a fantastic lineup of devices for our customers to choose from as we head into the holiday gifting season," said Michael P Huseby, CEO of Barnes & Noble, at the device's October launch.
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