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Sony to shutter its ebooks store in US and Canada in favor of Kobo

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Gallery Photo: Sony Reader PRS-T2 pictures
Gallery Photo: Sony Reader PRS-T2 pictures

Sony's giving up on its own ebook store in favor of going with a competing store from Kobo — at least in North America. The two companies announced a deal today that marks the end of Sony's store in the US and Canada on March 20, and that will send existing customers to Kobo's app on Sony's Reader and Xperia devices. Sony says that existing books will be transferred over as part of the changeover, and that its customers will be able to download those titles through April 30.

Not everything will make the move

The move comes as Sony's making big changes to its consumer electronics plans. Earlier today the company announced plans to sell off its VAIO computer division, what's long been its flagship line of personal computers. That deal, which is expected to close in July, is part of a larger plan by Sony to turn its focus to smartphones and tablets. Even so, Sony's ebooks store will continue on in Japan, Europe, and Australia.

Kobo says its bookstore currently has more than 4 million titles, a figure that includes ebooks and periodicals. The company is warning Sony customers that "very few" ebooks may not be available on its store that people got on Sony's, and is suggesting that people re-download titles while the Sony store is up and running. The same goes for magazine subscriptions, which are not making the move.