Google buys Ebook Startup

Google gave its newly launched ebook business a big boost with the purchase of eBook Technologies Inc., the startup-gobbling giant’s first acquisition of 2011.

The Internet giant officially entered the ebook market with the launch of Google eBooks in December. And while it has remained mum about specific plans for eBook Technologies, the startup’s technology covers the complete ebook ecosystem from end-to-end.

The eBook Technologies web site was taken down after the buyout, and left only a notice announcing the deal and saying that it would be focusing on ebooks for “emerging tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.” A cached version of the site reveals that the company had developed its own ebook reading hardware, device firmware, an online ebook store, and ebook publishing tools.

The company actually launched its first product in 1998, pushing the definition of the word “startup,” but attention from Google proves that a company doesn’t have to be young to operate in startup mode.

Last year Google closed deals with 10 venture-backed businesses, making it the year’s busiest startup buyer, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

The terms of the eBooks Technology deal were not disclosed.

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