In an attempt to settle down the wave of criticism and allay competition fears over its ambitious $125m Book Search Project, Google on Thursday told the US Congress that it will offer rivals access to its online texts.
The search engine giant said it would let Amazon, Microsoft, along with other competitors resell books from its proposed online digital library, in a bid to dampen the accusations that it would have a monopoly in online book domains with its online repository of millions of books.
Google made the offer at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee called to talk about the widespread criticism over the proposed settlement between Google and the US publishers and authors.
Discussing about the concession Google made to its rivals, the company’s chief legal officer, David Drummond said: “Google will host the digital books online, and retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local bookstore will be able to sell access to users on any Internet-connected device they choose”.
However, Amazon’s executive promptly dismissed the notion of becoming an affiliate of Google. Amazon protested by saying that Google has cheated the system by scanning books without any consent.
In addition, Microsoft, Yahoo, and the Internet Archive, also opposed the proposed settlement, arguing that it would give Google too much control over the global pool of information.
Google cannot win, can it. The world's biggest internet company has done more to expand and share the world's information and knowledge than any of its competitors worldwide. Whether the Google Books project will become a success or not is another thing though. Amazon knows that such a deal could potentially deal a huge blow to its core business.