G-BOOKS

Google to Launch Ebooks Service

Google is launching Google Editions this summer, a digital book service that will compete against Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Apple by allowing users to access ebooks from a wide range of websites, using a variety of devices. The service will also include brick-and-mortar booksellers by allowing them to sell Google Editions on their own sites, although they will take only a small portion of the revenue. Publishers haven’t officially signed on yet, but an executive at Oxford University Press says it will level "the retail playing field….This is an electronic product that consumers can get anywhere as long as they have a Google account." Google Editions will be a paid service, but the company has also been battling with authors and publishers for the rights to distribute out-of-print books at no cost through its Google Books service, and a ruling is expected soon.