Telefónica takes fight to Kindle with e-book content partnership

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Telefónica has joined with Spain's largest publisher Grupo Planeta to expand its e-book content range and to combat Kindle's success in the fast-growing market.

The telco, which last June launched its e-reader "Movistar Ebook bq" which it co-designed with Mundo Reader, now wants to strengthen its digital content revenues with partnership and m-payment services.

Commenting on the new venture to Bloomberg, Carlos Domingo, director of Telefonica's product development, said: "Telefónica will provide the technology and distribution, while Planeta will offer the content." Telefónica CEO Cesar Alierta said that Internet products were key to boosting profits next year.

The new service based on Grupo Planeta's content will initially be launched in Spain and later in Latin America, the company said. No date has been set for the release.

However, Francisco Salvador, a Madrid-based strategist at FGA/MG Valores, said that Telefónica's new e-book offering may help the operator to retain customers and boost ARPU, but "the company needs to invest heavily into the service to challenge the incumbents in the electronic reading market."

"Big players such as Apple, Samsung or Amazon are already well ahead, and customers usually prefer those cool brands," Salvador told Bloomberg. "Telefonica will need a big investment."

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

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