The e-Book Game

With e-books like Amazon’s Kindle increasing in popularity, it’s no surprise other tech giants are trying to get in on the action. Apple has its iPad and iBooks, and now, as the Wall Street Journal‘s Shira Ovide and Jeffrey A. Tractenberg report, a little company from Redmond, Washington is getting in the game:

Microsoft Corp. is pledging $605 million to help bolster Barnes & Noble Inc.‘s Nook digital-book business, as the software giant wages another bet on an industry where it has lagged behind rivals.

The deal catapults Microsoft into a high-stakes battleground whose combatants include Inc., Apple Inc., and Google Inc., and also gives Barnes & Noble a lifeline to continue investing in its fast-growing digital-book business. As part of its investment, Microsoft is taking a 17.6% stake in a new subsidiary that will include the e-book division and Barnes & Noble’s college bookstores unit, which operates 641 stores.