The borders saga continues to unfold with new information coming to light on its online future. Last month the company announced it had found no buyers and they were closing down 399 if its USA based stores and laying off close to 11,000 people. Today the company announced that they were now selling off its various intellectual properties.
Some of the main things being sold are the Borders website, IPv4 addresses, and the contracts with Kobo.
Borders recently suspended selling ebooks and diverted all of its customers to Kobo, in which Borders has a small minority stake. All owners of Borders books will do business with Kobo instead and keep all of the books they purchased previously under Borders. When they stopped selling books they redid their online ecosystem to put the emphasis on book reviews, guest bloggers, and features on new authors. Although the move was positive it was ushered in with little fanfare and most people were not even aware of Borders’ online change.
One of the bigger questions is what happens to the Kobo contracts for selling their e-readers in Borders stores and what happens to the financial stake it had in the company? Kobo announced a month ago that the shares Borders owns are non-transferable, so another company cannot come along and snap them up. Information on the contracts and what they entail are scarce, but we have reached out to Steambank which is handling the IP for Borders.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.