by Michael Corkery at The New York Times
Walmart is making a circuitous and belated push into the digital book market, teaming up with a Japanese company to sell e-books and audiobooks.
The deal with Rakuten, an e-commerce giant based in Japan, will allow Walmart to start selling digital books on its website for the first time later this year.
The move, which was announced late Thursday, comes years after Walmart’s archrival, Amazon, began to dominate the market for digital readers.
Walmart customers will be able to read the books through Rakuten Kobo e-reading devices — which have not taken hold with Americans the way Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook have.
The partnership is part of Walmart’s effort to ensure that its online offerings include every conceivable product line, giving shoppers no reason to click over to Amazon.
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