Electronic bookseller Kobo is about to be sold to Japanese internet service company Rakuten. The Japanese firm is going to buy all outstanding shares of the company for $315 million. Currently Canadian bookseller Indigo is the largest shareholder.
Kobo’s digital book platform allows customers to purchased eBooks on a wide range of devices in a number of countries around the globe. KObo offers more than 2.5 million books, magazines, and newspapers.
The company also offers a line of eBook readers including the Kobo Touch with an E Ink touchscreen display and the new $199 Kobo Vox Android tablet with a 7 inch display.
Up until recently Kobo was probably best known in the US as the company the powered the digital bookstore for Borders Books. But when that book store went out of business Kobo lost a little visibility in the States.
There are also Kobo apps for reading eBooks on mobile devices running iOS, Android, BlackBerry, or webOS. One of the company’s niftiest innovations is a “Reading Life” platform that lets you track your reading accomplishments and share them with other users.
The acquisition is expected to close early next year, and Kobo is expected to continue to operate as a stand-alone company once the deal is complete.