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The Engadget Interview: Kobo's Michael Serbinis

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    The Engadget Interview: Kobo's Michael Serbinis

    Kobo celebrated the launch of its eReader Touch Edition with a decidedly low-key event, inviting a handful of journalists to a dimly lit brunch place in midtown Manhattan. The company's CEO Michael Serbinis presided over the event, framing his company as a David in the fight against e-reading Goliaths. It was a stark and fitting contrast to the Nook event that Barnes & Noble would hold a few days later and 40 blocks away -- not to mention the increasingly g*****ose productions orchestrated by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

    In spite of all of this, the company has managed to maintain a high profile in the e-reader space, as it did this week, when between the announcement of the Nook Tablet and the release of the Kindle Fire, it let the world know that it had been acquired by Rakuten, something of an equivalent to Amazon in its native Japan. The announcement followed the bankruptcy and subsequent closure of once giant bookstore chain Borders earlier this year, a company to which Kobo had long been closely tied. In a conference call last night, Serbinis denied a connection between these events, insisting instead that the deal just made good business sense for the Canadian company.

    How will the deal affect Kobo? Does this move ultimately impair Serbinis's ability to frame his 200-odd person company's battles as an old testament fight against corporate giants? Or does this simply offer a bit of assistance in its sometimes uphill push for market share? We sat down with the executive to discuss the acquisition, the crowded tablet space and the future of e-reading.
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    The Engadget Interview: Kobo's Michael Serbinis originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 09 Nov 2011 19:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
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