Pearson Australia just announced that they are buying the Borders and Angus & Robertson websites from the now defunct REDgroup Retail. As part of the sale, they also signed a deal with Kobo to continue distributing ebooks in the AUS ebook market.
Note that this deal appears to only cover the Australian part of the ebook market; REDgroup's NZ bookstore chain Whitcoulls (along with the several Borders bookstores in NZ) were sold off a couple months ago to a local investor. Whitcoulls are still selling Kobo ebooks as of this morning, so I would guess that they will remain the Kobo partner in NZ.
"REDgroup online has always enjoyed a strong market share, and an incredibly loyal customer base and we see this acquisition as an opportunity to further build this business. The team are committed to providing customers with a great online shopping experience." Higgins said.
Pearson plan to run the websites and ebook operation as a separate business in Australia, whre it will be a subsidiary of Pearson Australia Group.
This is reassuring news for Kobo and Sony Reader owners in Australia, and the same goes for anyone worried about Amazon losing their only serious local competition in that market.
image by paloetic (time out)