Google is reportedly gearing up to compete against Amazon and Apple in the emerging digital book marketplace. The announcement came in the form of a comment during a panel discussion with Google's manager for strategic-partner development, Chris Palma, at the Book Industry Study Group in New York. According to the Wall Street Journal, who was there at the event, the new e-book store will be called Google Editions and should launch in late June or July.

The new service will let users buy digital copies of books they discover through its book-search service. Google will allow third-parties to sell Google Editions on their own sites and "keep the bulk of the revenue." Furthermore, the Internet giant hopes to distinguish itself from competitors by allowing users to access books from a wider range of devices.

Google has yet to release details about pricing and which publishers are expected to participate. So far the company has only offered public-domain books for free in the ePub format. It's important to note that Google is also still trying to close a controversial settlement to distribute out-of-print copyright-protected books, but the sweeping agreement that would give Google the rights to do so is still caught up in various legal challenges.