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Pearson to sell Kobo ebooks in Australia

July 4th, 2011 by · 4 Comments · ebookstore news

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.

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Monday Midday Links: | Dear Author

    [...] Today is supposed to be a holiday but the news is coming thick and fast. I hardly know what to lead with.  First up, though, is Pearson Australia striking a deal to buy REDGroup’s online book business and to partner to sell ebooks with Kobo.  This is the first time we’ve seen a major publisher attempt to get into the retail market.  If Pearson Australia is successful, those new competencies might be brought over to Pearson UK or Penguin USA.  This isn’t just developing a direct to consumer relationship like Harlequin has.  This is direct competition with Amazon to create a vertical supply chain of publishing content to selling content directly to the end user.  Currently this sale only affects Australia and not New Zealand.  Via Nate The Digital Reader. [...]

  • Kobo picked up a new Australian partner – Collins - The Digital Reader

    [...] a single partner in some markets; now they will have Collins competing for the same ebook sales as Pearson, who recently bought the rights to the REDgroup website (including Kobo ebook [...]

  • Kobo, down but not out, adds Collins bookseller chain as its second Aussie franchise

    [...] has appointed a second Australian licensee for its ebookstore, adding to Pearson which picked up a Kobo-powered ebook store when it bought the online assets of the failed Red Group earlier this month. The Red Group owned [...]

  • Sony to Expand Ebookstore into UK, Germany - The Digital Reader

    [...] They’re opening ebookstores? Why? They’re not doing a very good job in the US market, so I think it would be better to go with a ebookstore partner – kinda like what they did in Australia. The Australian models of the Sony Readers don’t have an ebookstore; customers are recommend to use Kobo (now run by Pearson). [...]

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