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Google bookstore to challenge Amazon

Google plans to open a digital bookstore by the end of the year to challenge Amazon's dominance of the online book sales market.

The move is unrelated to Google's controversial agreement with authors and publishers to make digital copies of millions of books available online.

The agreement, still under investigation by US authorities, has been criticised for giving Google a monopoly to sell out-of-print books.

Google has defended its position by highlighting the benefits to readers of putting millions of books online.

News of Google's plans to open an online store for books that are still in print, however, has been welcomed by publishers, according to Silicon Valley's Mercury News.

The move will create the first real competition to Amazon, which unsettled published in 2007 when it unilaterally lowered prices for its best seller category.

Publishers are concerned that in the absence of competition, Amazon will use its dominant position to take control of setting book prices online.

Google has told publishers they will be able to set any reasonable pricing for books that will be available for purchase from any web-enabled device.


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