HMV sells e-book site to Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's has joined the electronic-book revolution by snapping up an e-books website and software platform from the entertainment group HMV for a token £1.

The supermarket chain has bought 64 per cent of loss-making Anobii, which allows users to research titles and buy them on a range of e-readers, including the Kobo device sold by WH Smith and Sony's e-reader, as well as smartphone and tablet devices.

Although Anobii recommends books and provides a social networking forum, its e-books are not compatible with the market leader, Amazon's Kindle device. As well as Sainsbury's majority stake in Anobii, existing shareholders and publishers HarperCollins, Penguin and Random House Group will retain a small stake. This is Sainsbury's first foray into e-books.