If the rumors are true, Apple may be positioning itself to be the largest distributor of e-books in the world. BGR received a tip from an unproven source who claims that Apple is having internal discussions around purchasing Barnes & Noble, the largest book retailer in the U.S.
If a deal were to go down, Apple could take advantage of Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications and incorporate them into Apple’s iBooks store, which is available on the company’s iOS devices. In this scenario, Apple would likely discontinue the NOOK line, Barnes & Noble’s foray into e-book tablets.
This month, Borders Group, responsible for book and music retail stores including Borders, Borders Express, and Waldenbooks, started closing its remaining 399 stores after a U.S. bankruptcy judge approved a petition to liquidate. If this is the beginning of the end of the physical book store, considering the fact that Barnes & Noble would likely ask around $1 billion to $1.5 billion (pocket change for Apple), a deal with Apple seems entirely likely.
The unproven source also says that iTunes 11 would be released in September and will support reading iBooks on computers, as well as textbook purchases and rentals.
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