Some analysts say that a federal antitrust ruling involving the combination of Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets last week enhance the chances of a merger between Borders and Barnes &
The merger closely mirrors a potential deal between Borders and B&N and "could be perceived as a potential new precedent and open up meaningful discussions," writes David
Schick, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co., in a report to investors.
The talk of a potential merger of Borders and Barnes & Noble comes as both firms struggle against online rivals, such as Amazon.com, and big-box retailers, such as Target. Online stores often offer lower prices, and big-box stores supply a much wider selection than in the past. Spokesmen for both booksellers decline to comment on any hypothetical deal between the two companies.