How do you feel about book superstore bookends?
Barnes & Noble
This is the kind of news that would have made your head spin 10 years ago, but it seems like too little, too late, by today's standards.
Companies like Amazon.com
Antitrust concerns would have laughed off a pairing of the two bookworm magnets in the past. These days, it may not even be enough.
Barnes & Noble and Borders would combine for roughly a third of the meandering book market. Are regulators really going to get in the way? Aren't we just a year or two from having Books-A-Million
I found myself on the bullish end of a Dueling Fools segment on Borders last summer. Big mistake. The stock has gone on to shed two-thirds of its value.
When Borders put itself on the block earlier this year, it wasn't an exit strategy. It was an entry wound. Barnes & Noble has held up better, but only because it has executed better in cyberspace, even to the brazen point of taking on Wikipedia. It certainly didn't hurt that the company had thriving video game retailer GameStop
Borders would look good on Barnes & Noble's arm, if only because it's hard to picture it anywhere else. Even private equity firm buzzards are likely to stay away, as losses begin to mount at the once-profitable Borders. Barnes & Noble has the ability to cash in on synergies that will help stop the bleeding in the near term. The real concern is the long run, because even the mighty Barnes & Noble will be pressed to change its model in the coming years to remain competitive.