Sony (SNE) and Google (GOOG) plan to launch a partnership to challenge to Amazon’s (AMZN) modestly successful e-book reader.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the project will “give users of the Sony Reader device access to more than half-a-million public domain books from Google’s ambitious book digitization project.”
The biggest snag to the project is that Google is still at war with book publishers,and while a court may approve a settlement between the search company and the publishing industry later this year, the acrimony between the parties is still significant. A deal for Google to digitize books could fall apart. If the fight goes back to court, the case and potential appeals and could go on for another year or two.
Another drawback to Sony and Google joining forces is that the Japanese consumer electronics company has been ham-handed when launching new products. It is hard to identify one success if has had in against the likes of Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Nintendo.
Amazon does not have much to worry about.
Douglas A. McIntyre