Bertelsmann deal gives Barnes & Noble edge in Europe

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Bertelsmann agreed to pay for a 50% stake in Barnes & Noble's Web subsidiary Bertelsmann and Barnes & Noble will each invest $100 million in the online bookstore. Both parties said to expect an initial public offering for later this year. Bertelsmann said it plans to go forward with its retail site Books Online.

The deal "was rumored for a long time," said Nicole Vanderbilt, senior analyst at Jupiter Communications, who added that at one point, it was reportedly squelched. "Most of what this does is give Barnes & Noble a fighting chance in the European market. That was anyone's game to win. I don't think it'll have a huge impact in the U.S. market."

Copyright October 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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