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SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 2 (Reuters) – Google Inc has approached
several magazine publishers about creating a digital newsstand, in a move that
could open a new front in the Internet company’s rivalry with Apple Inc
, according to a news report.

The digital newsstand would provide a way for media companies to sell
versions of their publications designed for tablet PCs and smartphones based
on Google’s Android operating system, according to a story in the Wall Street
Journal on Sunday, citing anonymous sources.

Google has discussed the venture with publishers including Time Warner
Inc’s Time Inc unit, Conde Nast and Hearst Corp, and has told some
publishers it would take a smaller cut of revenue than the 30 percent that
Apple typically takes from iTunes sales, the report said.

Google has also offered to provide publishers with certain personal data
of customers who purchase the digital versions of their publications.

The report said that Apple is also planning several changes with its
iTunes online store, including making it easier for publishers to sell
subscriptions — in addition to single issue sales — as well as the
possibility of sharing more customer information with publishers.

Representatives of Google and Apple were not immediately available for
comment.

The report said that the timing of Google’s digital newsstand remans vague
and that it’s possible the venture might not materialize at all.

Last month, Google, the world’s No.1 Internet search engine, began selling
digital books through an online store, entering a market dominated by
Amazon.com Inc , and intensifying its competition with Apple, which
also sells electronic books for its iPad tablet.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Lincoln Feast)