updated 06:20 pm EDT, Thu April 5, 2012
Google e-book resales shift back to Play store
Google gave notice Thursday that it was ending its e-book reseller program. The effort, which let physical retailers and other third parties resell from Google Play Books, had "not gained the traction" Google wanted. A current set of 16 partners would be phasing out as the service wound down by the end of January.
Books would still be important to Google, but its attention would now be devoted to its own store. Searches through the regular Google Book page would still turn up third-party stores.
The closure reflects a continued consolidation among online booksellers, where Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, and Kobo largely control the market. Google hasn't given clues as to its own share, but it will have dropped share at least slightly without the extra support from outside resellers.