Google Inc. launched Google eBooks, its long-anticipated digital bookselling enterprise, on Monday.
The venture, now rolling out across the Web with hundreds of thousands of popular titles for sale and millions more free, will compete for a slice of the digital books business, which is valued at close to $1 billion and is expected to grow in the coming years.
Google eBooks, formerly called Google Editions, represents another opportunity for the Web giant to go toe-to-toe with two of its powerful rivals, Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., and to open up a new stream of revenue outside of online advertising.
“Publishers want more competition in the marketplace, and we already have a big investment,” said Tom Turvey, a director of strategic partnerships at Google. “We’re trying to extend the value of content that exists in the world by enabling people to find it and buy it.”
Users will be able to buy books through books.google.com/ebooks and read them on many devices, including tablets, computers, smartphones and open format e-readers. Google on Monday released e-book buying and reading apps for Apple’s iPhone, iTouch and iPad as well as Android mobile devices.
Read More: By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG And AMIR EFRATI, WSJ