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Australian Publishing Braces for New Battle As Government Proposes Dropping Book Import Restrictions

Australia's publishing (and bookselling) business has remained protected by "parallel import restrictions" that have kept the country relatively de-Amazoned -- but just as American antitrust law has been favoring low consumer prices over market consolidation, the Australian government is prioritizing lower prices for books over protecting the local publishing business. The…

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Corporate: Pearson Has Expected Q1 Decline, As CBS Considers Buyout of Redstone Shares

Pearson issued a first quarter "trading update" in connection with their annual meeting. As expected, results were weak, with overall sales down 6 percent, "in line with expectations." They say Penguin Random House "had a solid first-quarter performance with a strong bestseller performance and net integration benefits partly offset by…

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Family Entertainment Network Relaunches As StoryArc; Frankfurt Adds Controlling Stake In IPR License; Readerlink Adds ANconnect Book Business

The Family Entertainment Network of web-based children's games and other properties -- including Poptropica, created by Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney, and Funbrain -- has officially relaunched as StoryArc Media. The company was sold to Sandbox Partners last May by Pearson. Kinney has the title of chief creative officer under…

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Riggio To Retire As B&N Chairman in September

Barnes & Noble, Inc. founder Leonard Riggio, 75, announced he will retire in September from his position as executive chairman -- after the annual shareholder meeting -- though he intends to remain on the company's board of directors. Riggio still controls 17.5 percent of Barnes & Noble's shares (with Abrams Capital Management as…

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Google Play Gains Again, Even As Earnings Are Below Analysts' Estimates; Apple China iBooks Shutdown Confirmed

The headline from Thursday afternoon's earnings release from Alphabet/Google was that earnings came in below analysts' expectations, with first quarter sales of $20.3 billion up 17 percent. In the segment we follow, the glamorous "Other revenue" that incorporates the Google Play store, sales of $2.1 billion were up 24 percent…

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Amazon Wins NYC Education Contract, Bloomberg Says Prime Same-Day Delivery Excludes Black Neighborhoods

Amazon has won a contract with New York's Department of Education to supply ebooks to students through a special marketplace site. The deal is worth approximately $30 million over the first three years, and the city has an option to extend the contract for another two years, worth an additional…

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Baker & Taylor and Bookmasters Are Sold to Follett

Leading library wholesaler Baker & Taylor has been sold to Follett Corporation, announced in a press release on Monday, "creating the world's preeminent single source of curated content and multimedia for librarians and educators." B&T's private equity owners Castle Harlan have sold their related company Bookmasters to Follett as well, according…

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Penguin Random House Reportedly Talking to Banks About DK Sale

The UK's Sky News reported that it "understands that [Penguin Random House] has been in talks with investment banks about advising on an auction of Dorling Kindersley." They add, "Sources said that Penguin Random House was 'exploring' a sale and that it could decide not to pursue a formal auction." There…

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People, Etc.

Malcolm Bouzi has joined Open Road as junior front end developer. Previously he was a web developer at the Araca Group. Farideh Koohi-Kamali has joined Peter Lang Publishers as senior vice president. She succeeds Christopher Myers, who has left the company after over 25 years as managing director and education…

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Nook to Eliminate Santa Clara and Taiwan Offices, Outsource Some Services

Barnes & Noble announced the last step in cutting costs at the ever-declining Nook unit after the close of the market on Thursday. The company will close its offices in Santa Clara, CA (approximately 80 employees) and Taiwan (approximately 19 employees) by July, eliminating those 100 or so jobs. BN expects severance charges and transition…

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