The four companies, Kinokuniya Company, Ltd. (President Masashi Takai), Sony Corporation (Chairman, CEO and President, Howard Stringer), Panasonic Corporation (President Fumio Ohtsubo), and Rakuten, Inc. (Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani) agreed to examine the initiatives below in an effort to further improve the user-friendliness of e-book services in Japan, and accelerate their adoption.
1. Promoting the development of an environment that facilitates freedom of choice for e-book terminals, and access to a greater variety of e-book titles (hereafter referred to as “contents”) from all kinds of e-book stores. As a specific goal, we will work toward standardizing our systems to allow mutual connections between e-books terminals and e-book stores operated respectively by the four companies, starting in the latter half of 2011.
2. Provision of a one-stop system that allows users to manage all contents purchased from different e-book stores.
3. Launching a portal site mainly for displaying ranking charts to allow users to quickly obtain information on popular titles based on sales at physical, Internet and e-book stores.
We plan to enlist the cooperation of publishers in achieving these goals. We will also consider collaborating with booklista Co., Ltd. and others who provide standardized e-book delivery platforms.
Announcements on the above initiatives will be made by each of the companies as work progresses in the future.