Amazon is preparing to open a book publishing division with Google as part of a broader strategy to become the digital giant’s largest competitor, according to a new report.
Amazon, Google, and their tech peers have spent years working together on publishing platforms and have formed a sprawling, multibillion-dollar publishing empire with a vast array of titles, including books, e-books, music, film, and video.
The companies have a combined market value of $9.5 billion, according the Wall Street Journal, and each has a publishing arm with an estimated $2.6 billion in annual sales.
Amazon’s publishing division is slated to be named the Amazon Book Publishing Alliance in the coming months, the Journal reported.
The alliance, which will focus on digital distribution, will include Google and Amazon.
In addition to publishing titles for Amazon, the alliance will work with publishers including Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Simon & St. Martin, Simon& Sotheby’s, Simon Pegg, and Penguin Random House, according a listing on Amazon’s website.
Amazon announced last week that it would be expanding its ebook publishing arm to include the Kindle digital-first platform.
Google, meanwhile, is working to become a digital publisher, with plans to launch the Google Drive app and integrate the company’s services into Google Reader.
Amazon and other tech companies have been working on publishing their own digital platforms for years.
Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and Google’s Chrome OS operating system have both launched as competing digital platforms.
In April, Google and Apple agreed to develop their own apps for the iPad and iPhone.
Google is also working on an ebook platform that will launch later this year, according Google VP and general manager of business development Matt Richards.
The project is called Kindle Paperwhite, a product of Google’s collaboration with publishers, the Wall St. Journal reported, adding that it’s expected to be available in September or October.
Amazon is the largest publisher of e-readers, which are typically sold in a single-volume set.
They’re also popular with students, as well as people who use them as part for social media and as part-time reading for reading and work.
Amazon began offering Kindle ebooks in November 2017, but it has since rolled out the platform in a series of updates.
The company announced last year that it planned to launch a new Kindle ereader with an OLED screen in 2018.
The new ereader will be available to the Kindle Fire, Fire TV, Kindle Mini, Kindle 3, and Kindle 3S, the company said at the time.
The company also plans to introduce a second, more powerful Kindle ereaders with an LCD display in 2019.