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Amazon & Google target eBooks

Report: Web giants working on Kindle device

Google and Amazon are teaming up on a new electronic-book (eBook) scheme, according to The New York Times.

Amazon plans to launch an e-book reading device called the Kindle in October that will tap into an Amazon e-book store and cost between $400 and $500 (£200 & $250), the Times reported.

Meanwhile, Google, which has a book search engine, will give people the option of paying to obtain the full text of copyright books as part of a service due before the end of the year, according to the newspaper. Google would split the revenue from the service with book publishers.

Although e-book technology has been around for years, the concept hasn't caught on as initially expected, as people continue to prefer reading books on paper, rather than on an electronic display.

Common complaints about e-books over the years have included discomfort from eye fatigue, inconvenient size, short battery life and a limited selection of titles.

The Times based its report on anonymous sources. Google didn't immediately reply to a request for comment. An Amazon spokesman declined to comment.

The Kindle's wireless capabilities will allow it to not only download books and periodicals from Amazon's store but also browse the web. It has a keyboard and a scroll wheel, according to the Times.

Amazon already sells e-books from its main online store as well as from its Mobipocket subsidiary.

Google's book search engine displays the full text of books in the public domain, and excerpts of copyright books. For people interested in purchasing books they find, Google provides links to third-party booksellers that carry the titles, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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