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Posted on Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 9:47 a.m.

Barnes & Noble wins court approval to acquire Borders' IP assets

By Nathan Bomey

A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Manhattan approved the sale of Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc.'s intellectual property assets to rival Barnes & Noble in a hearing Monday, according to several reports.


Borders' website was sold in an auction of the company's intellectual property assets.

Barnes & Noble has agreed to pay $13.9 million for most of Borders' IP assets. Full details of the transaction are still unclear, though the sale likely includes Borders' brand name and website.

The sale of Borders' customer loyalty database — formerly called Borders Rewards — temporarily delayed the deal as the court considered a complaint that the transaction would violate customer privacy laws. The database contains information regarding 48 million customers, including millions of names, addresses, phone numbers and emails.

To assuage customer privacy concerns, attorneys told the court they had agreed to email customers to give them 15 days to opt out, according to Reuters. They also plan to "split the cost of an advertisement in USA Today giving customers information on how to opt out," Reuters said.

Overall, Borders raised $15.8 million through an auction of its IP assets.

It's not clear what Barnes & Noble plans to do with Borders' intellectual property. It's not uncommon for a company to close its physical stores and sell its website to a third party that continues to sell products through the site going forward.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:59 p.m.

This pretty much makes a mockery of privacy disclaimers and agreements. Customer lists should go down with the ship.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:20 p.m.

What, 15 days to opt-out isn't enough ?