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Sony eBook store closes in North America: Streamlining operations



Turn out the lights, the party’s over for Sony North American eBook stores come March 20. Sony threw in the towel on eBook sales as it transferred U.S. and Canadian eBook stores to arch-rival Kobo, a Toronto Canada-based service. Sony Reader eBook users will be able to transfer accounts, credits, and eBooks to Kobo accounts.

Seeking to streamline operations, Sony decided last year to sell its eBook division and concentrate instead on tablets and smartphones. Sony also announced it was selling off an underperforming Vaio PC business and separating its television business into a stand-alone division. That business reportedly lost a billion dollars. Sony was cutting 5,000 jobs there, officials said.

“Although we’re sorry to say goodbye to the Reader Store, we’re also glad to share the new and exciting future for our readers: Reader Store will transfer customers to Toronto-based eReading company, Kobo – an admired ebook seller with a passionate reading community,” a blog post at the Sony Reader website said.

Sony officials said Kobo was a good fit for its business model and would be committed to delivering a vigorous, wide-ranging customer user experience. The transfer process should be seamless, officials said. Kobo began operations in 2009. It sells reading deices and ebooks with a library of four million books in nearly 70 languages.

Sony has decided to concentrate on video games, digital imaging and mobile technology in a new strategy to build back its core electronic concentration. Officials said they believed the company had an exciting future.

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Sony has announced it will close its ebook store for North America, and give its customer list to rival Kobo