Barnes & Noble May Have Bought Borders' Website and Customer Data

Posted on September 16, 2011

BordersHilco Streambank, the company running the auction for Borders' intellectual property, said in a press release today that Borders' rival Barnes & Noble was one of the bidders purchasing Borders' intellectual assets. Hilco did not disclose which assets Barnes & Noble bought, but the Borders.com website was one of the assets available and it is certainly an asset B&N would be interested in owning.

The press release states, "Multiple bidders, including Barnes & Noble and Berjaya Books, each acquired specific assets, which included a global portfolio of trademarks, the Borders, Waldenbooks and Brentano's trade names, Internet domain names, and the Borders.com e-commerce website. The outcome of the auction is subject to approval by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. A hearing is scheduled for September 20, 2011."

The total price for the auction of the assets was $15,775,000. Hilco says ten bidders participated and there were over 50 rounds of bidding before the winners emerged. There was no mention in Hilco's press release of Amazon.com or Books-A-Million, Inc. participating in the auction.

Publishers Weekly is reporting that $13.9 million of the $15.8 million spent at the auction was spent by Barnes & Noble, so it appears they got the bulk of what was available, which included domain names, membership lists and customer information.