New York (NY) – Following media reports that Google may move into Amazon.com territory, the company today confirmed that it will be offering ebook publishers a distribution channel through its websites.
The news arrived from the annual BookExpo convention in New York, during which Google apparently pitched its intent to allow publishers to sell digital books to consumers online. Later today, the company confirmed through an email sent to journalists that the company plans to “build and support a digital book ecosystem to allow [its] partner publishers to make their books available for purchase from any Web-enabled device.”
The service is scheduled to go live by the end of this year.
Obviously, Google is aiming for a huge rival, Amazon.com. The retailer posted revenues of $4.9 billion and a net income of $177 million for the first quarter of this year. Media sales, which includes books, movies and music accounted for $2.7 billion. The company does not break out book and ebook sales from this number.
Amazon.com currently sells most bestsellers for $9.99 in ebook form. Google said that it will allow sellers to set their own prices, which would indicate that Google’s service could put pressure on ebook pricing.