Google gBooks to Rival Apple iBooks

Google's e-book effort, called Editions, is expected to shake up the digital publishing industry sometime this summer.
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

is set to open another chapter in its digital media empire with Google Editions, an e-book sales and distribution service.

Hoping to claim a share of the emerging Internet publishing business, Google is developing a service that would give the industry a direct outlet for book sales to consumers who could read the material on a variety of devices.

The move takes a different approach to the e-book market than

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

iBook app, which works only on Apple devices. And while

Amazon's

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book distribution service has been an early success, it has largely ridden on the popularity of the Kindle e-reader.

Google's Web-based book plan will also vie against

Barnes and Nobles'

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Nook ebook reader, which is also designed for a specific device.

The company has not offered many details about the Editions effort. The service is expected to start in June or July, according to

The Wall Street Journal

. Google has been scanning books for several years and has amassed a digital library of 12 million books, according to a recent article in

The New Yorker

. And many of those titles are out of print, making Google a prime source for both new issues and hard-to-find books.

This isn't the first dive into digital media distribution for the Internet search giant. Last year, Google started YouTube "Shows," a TV- and movie-viewing service. Google is expected to launch a pay version of the YouTube site to compete with outfits like

Netflix

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and

Blockbuster

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.

Google shares fell 5% to $506.37 amid heavy selling Tuesday.

--Written by Scott Moritz in New York.