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There has been a lot of coverage of how Barnes & Noble suddenly has become a hot property, despite the fact that its traditional business model seems to be heading toward irrelevance - a point that is driven home as bankrupt Borders tries to figure out its next move.

The reason for Barnes & Noble’s sudden hotness? Liberty Media Corp., a cable television empire, sees the retailer’s Nook e-reader as a possible “application of choice for consumers on all tablet devices built on Google Inc.'s Android operating system,” according to the Wall Street Journal, and so has made a bid to acquire 70 percent of Barnes & Noble for $1.02 billion. At the same time, Ron Burkle’s Yucaipa Cos., which previously was unsuccessful at trying to gain more control of the company, increased its holdings to 19.7 percent of the retailer’s stock.

The feeling seems to be that Barnes & Noble is strengthened by Border’s fall, and that people will be looking for alternatives to Amazon’s Kindle, which has dominated the e-book market. And Liberty Media says that it continues top believe that Barnes & Noble’s physical presence is a long-term advantage, even in a virtual world.
KC's View:
What interests me here is the idea that obviously people a lot smarter than me are seeing Barnes & Noble and seeing possibilities beyond its traditional business model, seeing synergies between cable television and e-readers that could change the profitability picture entirely.