NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- A busy news day for Google ( GOOG) continued late Tuesday with a report that the Internet search giant is readying the launch of its e-book retail venture.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the company is now in the "final stages" of launching Google Editions, which was originally expected to be up and running this summer.

Scott Dougall, a Google product management director, told the Journal the company expects Google Editions to debut in the United States by the end of December with an international launch projected for the first quarter of 2011.



The project recently got past several technical and legal hurdles, the article said. Google Editions is expected to have an open format that will allow users to read purchased digital books through any device with access to a Web browser.

Google shares closed Tuesday down 4.5% at $555.71 after the European Union announced an antitrust probe of the company to investigate whether it used major share of Internet search traffic to deflate the rankings of its rivals.

In addition, the company is reportedly in hot pursuit of acquiring online deal/coupon aggregation site Groupon with a deal price as high as $6 billion being mentioned.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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