Google launches eBooks

The search giant ramps up its efforts to challenge Amazon.

By TheStreet Staff Dec 6, 2010 3:42PM

By James Rogers, TheStreet

 

Google's (GOOG) eBooks venture kicked off on Monday as the search giant ramps up its efforts to challenge Amazon (AMZN) in the digital-book market.

 

The Google eBookstore contains more than 3 million titles, according to a Google blog posting, and the Internet company says that it has hundreds of thousands of books for sale.

 

Rumors that Google was putting the finishing touches to its e-book effort emerged last week, with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the project had overcome several technical and legal hurdles.

 

In addition to a Web reader, Google is offering free apps for Android and Apple (AAPL) devices, which it says will make it possible for consumers to shop and read from mobile devices such as smart phones and netbooks.

"For many books you can select which font, font size, day/night reading mode and line spacing suits you -- and pick up on the page where you left off when switching devices," the company said on the blog. Google is also offering eBooks via independent booksellers like Powell's and Alibris.

 

Software specialist Adobe (ADBE) is also reaping the benefits of Google's e-book efforts. The Apple and Microsoft (MSFT) rival announced on Monday that Google has licensed its Content Server 4 software to provide content protection for its eBooks offering. (Microsoft owns and publishes MSN Money.)

 

Adobe touts Content Server as the most widely used digital-rights-management product for e-books and other digital publications. In addition to Google, more than 200 publishers and content distributors have now deployed the technology, it said.

 

Shares of Adobe were gaining 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $29.25 on Monday, as the Nasdaq added 0.2%. Shares of Google, whose stock price has been impacted by its pursuit of daily deal site Groupon, rose $6.04, or 1.1%, to $579.03.

 

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