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Posted: 04/25/12 08:15 AM ET  |  Updated: 04/25/12 08:26 AM ET

Why Facebook Should Buy The Nook From Barnes & Noble (PHOTOS)

By Andrew Losowsky, Books Editor

Barnes & Noble just got some new, potentially activist shareholders. Earlier this year, analysts speculated that its shareholders could force the company to sell off its Nook e-reader. If that were to happen, who should buy it?

In a word: Facebook.

Facebook has already declared its intention to be the key platform for social interactions and personal publishing. It's also expanding, having bought Instagr.am for a well-publicized $1bn.

With the Nook, it would gain an e-book publishing platform, a new revenue stream, become a major player in the broader content-publishing industry, and deepen its relationship with an audience of mostly older readers.

It would also give the company a boost in its rivalry with Google, which continues to struggle to get much traction with Google Books (now Google Play), and perhaps give it the option of a high-street presence, if the deal with B&N happened to include somehow promoting its new services in store for the first few years.

I have no insider knowledge about any such deal, but if it were to happen, here's how it could develop - and why it might prove to be Amazon's worst nightmare.

1. Facebook stops making new Nook devices
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Making devices is a hugely expensive field that requires massive and continual investment. The Nook has struggled to keep up with the Kindle in the e-reader space, and Amazon has Apple in its sights. The sensible option would be to withdraw.
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