Barnes & Noble and Microsoft end Nook deal ahead of planned Nook spinoff

Markets Associated Press

Bookseller Barnes & Noble said Thursday it is ending its commercial agreement with Microsoft for its Nook e-book reader ahead of its planned Nook spinoff.

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The news came as the largest U.S. traditional bookseller reported second quarter net income that missed expectations. Shares fell 8 percent in premarket trading.

Barnes & Noble, beset by tough competition from online retailers like Amazon and discount stores like Wal-Mart, said in June that it plans to split off its money-losing Nook e-reader division as it looks to boost shareholder value.

Barnes & Noble struck a deal with Microsoft in 2012 to help support its Nook Business. On Thursday it said it will buy back Microsoft's $300 million stake in the business.

The company also said the spinoff could occur by the end of August 2015.

Shares of Barnes & Noble fell $1.74, or 7.8 percent, to $20.50 in premarket trading.