Tom Keighley

Tesco moves in on ebook market

Former SAS man and best-selling author Andy McNab has sold his ebook platform to Tesco for £4.5m.

McNab’s Mobcast provides a digital book retail platform, with a catalogue of more than 130,000 titles, available on smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

The platform allows customers to build a library in the cloud, without being locked-in to one single device.

For Tesco, it is the latest in a line of similar digital acquisitions, including tv and film streaming service Blinkbox in 2011, and internet radio service We7 in June 2012.

Michael Comish, CEO Tesco Digital Entertainment, said: “We want our customers to have the widest choice in digital entertainment.

“We are already one of the UK’s largest booksellers and Mobcast will help us offer even more choice for the large and growing number of customers who want to buy and enjoy books on their digital devices whenever and wherever they want.”

Tony Lynch, CEO of Mobcast, said: “Since we launched Mobcast in 2007, we have been passionate about innovation, the digital book market and allowing customers to read across their devices.

“We are delighted the products that Mobcast has developed will now be used to introduce the joys of eBook reading to more book lovers in the UK.”

Andy McNab, bestselling author & co-founder of Mobcast, said: “As an author I always thought the ability to carry your library around and read on all your personal devices would be a huge benefit to all.

“We have developed a product that makes this possible, and being acquired by Tesco ensures that this original vision will be available to as many people as possible.”

Over recent months, several retailers have acquired e-book platforms. In June, Sainsbury’s bought HMV’s stake in the Anobil , and just last week, John Lewis won the right to sell US company Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, a rival to Amazon’s Kindle.

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