With Borders dead, what's going to happen with Kobo?

Borders may be going the way of the dinosaurs, but that doesn't mean Kobo is following suit.
Written by Ricardo Bilton, Contributor

To anyone paying attention, Borders Group's Tuesday announcement that it's killing its remaining Borders stores should not have come as too much of a surprise. But it was still shocking, and, certainly, heartbreaking to the chain's customers and book fans in general.

But as Borders makes the final steps in its death march, where does that leave Kobo, its e-Book arm?

When Borders announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection back in February, questions emerged almost immediately as to what the move meant for the future of Kobo, which Borders had begun investing in back in 2009.

These are questions that Kobo answered then, and it's worth revisiting them in the wake of the most recent Borders announcement.

As Kobo noted earlier this year, Borders' travails ultimately won't have too much of impact on Kobo's operations. After all, Kobo noted, Kobo is an independent company with many investments and operations worldwide. For customers, this means that, no matter what happens to Borders, Kobo ebook purchases will be safe.

But for how long? While the latest iteration of the Kobo was impressive, the device wasn't particularly mind-blowing. With Borders out of the picture, can Kobo really expect to have the same market impact? To that question, the company responds with a firm "yes", noting that its diversification across retailers allows it to absorb the impact of events Borders closing. Not only that, Kobo said, but Borders contributions were a minority of Kobo sales. So the company is fine.

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