Random House signs iBooks deal

Random House, one of the largest book publishers in the world, has finally joined its peers in coming on board to Apple’s digital e-book platform, the last of the major publishers to do so.

The publishing giant had held out on going to Apple’s platform because it didn’t like the terms that all iBooks companies had to agree to. However, thanks to the option of an “agency model” on the iBooks store, Random House decided to take the plunge.

Of course, this announcement comes at the very same time as the expected reveal of the iPad 2, meaning Apple will probably have something to say at its hotly anticipated event later today.

It almost didn’t make sense for such a huge company to pass up on iBooks, especially when the market is heavily trending toward digital book sales. For many, the inclusion of Random House into this group was not a question of if, but when.

Random House books do appear on the Kindle and Nook stores, which seemed to be good enough for the publisher. However, Apple has tweaked its guidelines and enforcement for apps like Kindle and Nook, which means it may soon not be possible to buy e-books on an iPad from any place other than the official iBooks outlet.

All of these factors probably played a part in pushing Random House over the edge. The exact number of titles to be made available immediately wasn’t disclosed, but expect future e-books from the company to be released throughout all the major platforms from now on.