Tesco Buys Itself an Ebook Store for More Than $7 Million

Supermarket chain Tesco has announced plans to purchase online ebook store Mobcast. The supermarket chain said Tuesday that 5-year-old Mobcast offers a catalog of more than 130,000 titles for smartphones, tablets and ereaders, as well as a cloud service that allows customers to build up a library without being tied to one single device.

"We want our customers to have the widest choice in digital entertainment," said Michael Comish, CEO Tesco 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."

According to the London Telegraph, Tesco paid £4.5 million for Mobcast. This equates to just over $7.1 million US dollars. Though the company originally started out as a grocer, the company has evolved over the years and expanded to offer clothes, books, DVDs, video games, consoles, petrol and mobile phone service. More recently, the company has been taking steps to enter the digital world and last April Tesco acquired an 80 percent majority stake in movie streaming service Blinkbox. London-based Blinkbox offers millions of users access to  TV shows and over 9,000 films for both streaming and download via free (ad-supported) and paid-access plans.

Speaking via a news release, bestselling author and co-founder of Mobcast, Andy McNab, said that Tesco's large customer base should help achieve the company's vision.

"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."

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter.                     

Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback