Kobo Vox

Japanese retailer Rakuten buys Kobo for $315 million

E-reader dark horse Kobo has a new master: Japanese mega-retailer Rakuten. The company bought the e-reader manufacturer for $315 million, with most of it going to majority shareholder Indigo Books & Music, from Canada. The backing of a powerful retailer should help the relatively small company compete better with the likes of Barnes & Noble and Amazon in the e-reader/tablet marketplace. Like its competitors, Kobo sells ebooks on Android, iOS and its own line of e-readers.

Kobo Vox available now, beats Kindle Fire and Nook Color 2 to market

The e-reader tablet market that the original Nook Color opened up last year is about to explode, and dark horse Kobo doesn't intend to linger around the starting gate. The company's Kobo Vox reader, with a form factor and specs that fall roughly in line with Barnes & Noble and Amazon's offerings, is available online at retailers across the U.S. and Canada. The Android Gingerbread based tablet is tied into the Kobo bookstore, and costs $199.99 - almost exactly the same price as the upcoming Kindle Fire.