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Barnes & Noble won't buy Ingram

Barnes & Noble scuttles a $600 million plan to buy privately held independent distributor Ingram Book Group rather than face further scrutiny of federal regulators.

Barnes & Noble today scuttled a $600 million plan to buy privately held independent distributor Ingram Book Group rather than face further scrutiny of federal regulators.

Barnes & Noble, in a statement, said it will "continue to work closely with Ingram," while investing the $600 million it would have spent on buying the firm on other acquisitions and investments. The company also plans to build two new distribution centers in Reno, Nevada, and Memphis, Tennessee.

Cancellation of the deal follows reports this week that the Federal Trade Commission staff believed the merger would give Barnes & Noble an unfair competitive edge.

Both Ingram and Barnes & Noble, in a statement this morning, said they agreed to kill the deal over worries that a lengthy FTC review would hurt their businesses.

"Although both companies believe that the transaction would ultimately be approved in the courts, protracted litigation would not be in the best interests of Barnes & Noble or Ingram," the statement said.

Merger plans, first announced in November, drew criticism from smaller independent booksellers, who use Ingram as a sole supplier of their books, as well as online book selling giant Amazon.com., to which Ingram is a large supplier.