Kobo, the eReader created by the Canadian company Indigo, has just been sold to a Japanese Internet company, Rakuten. The Kobo was associated with and marketed by the now bankrupt Border’s Books, and many consumers never knew it was a “stand-alone” reader capable of reading many formats.
News of the sale came as a surprise to many, as the Kobo is Canada’s only eBook vendor corporation. Selling this to a foreign company is a bit shocking and may come under scrutiny of Canadian law.
For it’s part, Rakuten states they will keep “headquarters, management and staff in Toronto.” It also plans to use the acquisition to expand it’s interests into European and North American eReader markets. Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and c.e.o. of Rakuten, said: “Rakuten offers Kobo unparalleled opportunities to extend its reach through some of the world’s largest regional e-commerce companies, including Buy.com in the US, Tradoria in Germany, Rakuten Brazil, Rakuten Taiwan, Lekutian in China, TARAD in Thailand, and Rakuten Belanja Online in Indonesia, and of course, Rakuten Ichiba in Japan.”