Google e-bookstore to take on Amazon
Google Editions will be the storefront for the company's digitial publishing business, the latest in its wide variety of offerings.
Google (GOOG) wants it all. From Google TV to its recent rumored Groupon acquisition plan and even to alternative energy, there is no corner of the modern world that the technology company isn't looking to get its fingers into.
Google Editions, Google's commercial electronic bookstore that was expected to launch earlier this year, will finally open for business, according to a Wall Street Journal report. The digital bookstore will launch this month in the United States and during the first quarter of 2011 in the rest of the world, says Google product management director Scott Dougall.
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How will Google compete with services like the Apple (AAPL) iBookstore and the e-book business's 800-pound gorilla, Amazon's Kindle store? By opening book sales not just to other platforms but to other retailers as well. Google Editions will allow customers to set up an account tied to an existing Google account (Gmail, Google Docs, etc.).
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The user can then purchase titles directly through Google as well as independent bookstores -- the American Booksellers Association says as many as 200 independent booksellers could join Google Editions -- that host their wares through the service. Purchased books can then be read on any platform with a Web browser, whether it's a desktop computer, an iPad, or even (presumably) a Kindle.
Provided they can offer a competitive selection of titles, Google Editions' e-bookstore model could wrench away some of Amazon's 65% control of the market.
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