Amazon And Google Open Digital Stores In Brazil

By Khurram Aziz | Dec 06, 2012 01:42 PM EST

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Both Amazon and Google have opened digital stores in an effort to capitalize on Brazil's nascent but growing ecommerce market.

The companies join the likes of Kobo, which began selling its eBook reader in partnership with Brazilian bookstore chain Livraria Cultura at the end of November.

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Amazon will be bringing its Kindle e-reader to the Brazilian market first, and not its more sophisticated tablet, the Kindle Fire.

In a press release, the online retailer says Kindle-the best-selling e-reader in the world-will be available in the coming weeks in Brazil from various locations with a suggested retail price of R$299 ($140).

"With the launch of free Kindle reading apps in Portuguese, anyone who has an Android phone, Android tablet, iPhone or iPad, PC or Mac, can start reading Kindle books today," said Alexandre Szapiro, Vice President of Kindle, Amazon.com.br.

Amazon also announced that independent authors and publishers can now make use of Kindle Direct Publishing, allowing them to price their books and receive payments in their local currency, while retaining control of their content and copyrights.

The launch of the Kindle coincides with the opening of Amazon's Kindle Store which offers over 1.4 million books, now available to Brazilian customers including more than 13,000 Portuguese-language books.

At the same time, Google has made available its collection of books and movies via Google Play to Brazilians who already own Android smartphones and tablets.

Google will bring 10,000 digital books in Portuguese and another few hundred movies to download or rent in Brazil, making it the 10th country where Google Play is now available.

The two will compete with local companies for a share of Brazil's e-commerce market which, according to Reuters, is valued at $12 billion.

Brazil is among the BRIC economies - which include Russia, China and India - which is thought will become one of the biggest in the world in the next two decades.

Amazon had been looking for a way into the Brazilian market for some time, and in October was rumored to be buying Brazil's biggest bookstore chain, Saraiva.

However, it seems now the company will stick to its focus on organic growth in foreign markets.

Other companies are also eyeing the Brazilian market. Lenovo is building a PC base there and Microsoft also recently invested $100 million over the next four years in a new technology center in Rio de Janeiro.

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