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Amazon in talks to launch digital book rental service: report

(Xinhua)

15:45, September 13, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- Amazon.com Inc. is talking with book publishers to launch a rental subscription service for digital books, U.S. media reported on Monday.

Several publishing executives said they aren't enthusiastic about the idea because it could lower the value of books and it could also strain their relationships with other retailers that sell their books, The Wall Street Journal quotes people familiar with the matter in a report.

The Seattle-based company is considering a digital book library featuring old titles, which would be available to Amazon Prime subscribers, who currently pay 79 U.S. dollars a year for access to digital library of movies and TV shows and unlimited two-day shipping, said the report.

Amazon would offer book publishers a substantial fee and could limit the amount of books that Amazon Prime customers could read for free every month, the report cited some sources as saying.

The online retailing giant makes the popular electronic reader Kindle and is also reported to launch a color touchscreen tablet before October to compete with Apple's iPad and other devices in the increasingly crowded tablet computer market.

The proposal is another sign that retailers are looking for more ways to deliver content digitally as customers increasingly read book and watch TV on personal computers, tablets and other electronic devices, said The Wall Street Journal report.

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