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Could a Borders-B&N Merger Be Possible?

On face value the idea seems ludicrous, but after reading this piece in the Detroit News by Nathan Hurst, there is some reasoning to the possibility that Barnes & Noble and Borders could one day merge with each other. That is because last week, a federal court ruled that a combination of the nation’s largest organic grocers, Whole Foods and Wild Oats Markets, didn’t violate antitrust rules. U.S. regulators had argued that the merger could reduce competition and inflate prices for organic grocery shoppers. That deal closely mirrors a potential deal between Borders and Barnes & Noble and “could be perceived as a potential new precedent and open up meaningful discussions,” David Schick, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in New York, wrote in a report to investors earlier this week.

The talk of a potential merger of Borders and Barnes & Noble comes as both firms struggle against online rivals such as Amazon.com and big-box retailers such as Target. Online stores often offer lower prices, and big-box stores are offering a much wider selection than they have in the past. Those struggles have led many industry analysts to speculate that by combining forces, the two companies might be able to better tackle the competition. Whether this happens remains in question, but it’s certainly not impossible…

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