Barnes & Noble, the world’s largest bookseller, has an intense fight between its shareholders

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The story line for bookstore giant Barnes & Noble Inc. is growing ever more dramatic, with falling store sales, increasingly stiff competition and a fierce battle over the company’s shares led by a billionaire Los Angeles investor.

Barnes & Noble changed the face of book retailing in the 1990s with its aggressive rollout of hundreds of superstores nationwide. Today, the New York company sells about 300 million books a year and accounts for roughly 18% of U.S. book sales, making it the world’s largest bookseller.

But its fortunes may be changing after years as the undisputed king of books. That vulnerability has attracted the attention of Ron Burkle, a shrewd businessman and Democratic fundraiser who built his fortune buying and selling supermarket chains but is better known for his friendships with politicians such as Bill Clinton and Hollywood celebrities.

Full story: Barnes & Noble: A besieged giant–Chicago Tribune