Google to launch e-book store this summer

Google has plans to go head to head with Amazon and Apple by launching an e-book store as early as this summer.

Chris Palma, Google’s manager for strategic partner development, said at a panel discussion on Tuesday that Google Editions could launch as early as June or July and would offer digital versions of the titles on its book search.

According to reports, no publishers have signed up to the service yet but a statement from Google suggested talks were going ahead. “We’ve consistently maintained that we’re committed to helping our partners find more ways to make their books accessible and available for purchase online, and we’ve been sharing details with our partner publishers for some time now. We hope to launch this to consumers in 2010,” it said.

Google first announced plans to sell digitised books in September 2009 but came under pressure from the US Department of Justice, which said the move was anti-competitive ( 12 February 2010).

Interest in e-books has intensified since Apple launched the iPad, which works as an e-reader. According to Apple, it has already sold 1m iPads in under a month ( 4 May 2010).

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