Google put another piece in the puzzle that is its content selling initiative over the weekend, by announcing that it is getting into the e-book business. As the company starts to sell information instead of just pointing to it, it has come under fire from groups such as the Text and Academic Authors Association and The Associated Press. Amazon and others will also be watching to see if Google will enter the e-book reader market as Amazon did with the Kindle (and Kindle 2 and DX). Scanned public domain books from Google are already available for free on the Sony Reader, the Kindle’s not-so-close-second place competitor. Android watchers will also note the possibility for a “Google branded” device like the G1.
Amazon announced an interface for smartphones, similar to the Kindle’s, that is already available on the iPhone. Yet Tom Turvey, Google’s director of strategic partnerships went further, saying that Google wants to make e-books available to any connected device and said that the “single silo” approach won’t last, an obvious jab at the Kindle, which, like the ipod and iTunes, pretty much wrote the book on single silo.
The move also seems to entwine the company further with the newspaper and magazine industries it has infuriated with Google News, which depends on media outlets for all of its content. Even publishers, the group with the most to gain from the announcement, are not protected from the heavy hand of Google. Mr. Turvey said that Google will “reserve the right” to adjust their “exorbitant” rates.