Italian Publisher Acquires Literary Social Media Company Anobii

Italy is the most popular market for Anobii, with 300,000 active users and 40 million books on file.

ROME -- Italian publisher Mondadori announced via social media Tuesday that it had acquired eight-year-old book-based social media company Anobii for undisclosed terms, promising to give the company the resources it needs to carve a niche in the crowded social media landscape.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Anobii, founded in 2006 by Greg Sung, has millions of users worldwide and is active in around two-dozen countries, but Italy is the company's top market with more than 300,000 active accounts with more than 40 million books in its databases.

The company had previously backed by several large international publishers including Random House, HarperCollins, and Penguin. It is available online or via smart phone apps.

Anobii is a platform for readers to socialize, share their book collections, exchange advice, publish reviews, and sell books. Mondadori chief executive Ernesto Mauri said the acquisition "reinforces our development strategy for books."

Mondadori is the publishing wing of the media empire of billionaire tycoon Silvio Berlusconi, a three-time prime minister of Italy.

The Milan-based publisher was last in the international news with the creation of Il Mio Papa (My Pope), a inexpensive weekly magazine dedicated to Pope Francis.

The name Anobii comes from the Latin phrase Anobium punctatum, which translates to "bookworm."

Twitter: @EricJLyman