By NICHOLAS DALYThe Associated PressThe Associated States BusinessmanWASHINGTON (AP)Amazon and Google are poised to become the new publishers of the year for free books, with Google taking the top spot as the biggest seller, according to an industry survey released Wednesday.
Amazon, the world’s largest online retailer, is still the biggest, followed by Microsoft and Apple, according the industry’s first free books rankings since the U.S. government started collecting information in 2015.
The rankings are based on Amazon’s sales of books, magazines and ebooks, the data showed.
The survey, which was conducted by the Publishers Association, found that Apple has surpassed Amazon as the No. 2 free-selling book seller in 2017, behind Amazon.
That comes despite a backlash from publishers and consumers against Apple’s attempts to control how they distribute Apple products in the U of A.
Apple is trying to get rid of its own Apple stores in the states of California and Washington and to shut down the popular “iBookstore” on its campuses.
Amazon’s chief executive, Jeff Bezos, said last year that he was seeking to sell off its retail operations and that the company was looking to become a more focused company that focuses on books.
The industry’s top bookseller, Google, is a distant second.
The company is No. 3 with more than 1.6 million books sold.
Amazon, Google’s closest competitor, is No 2 with about 1.2 million books.
Google has been expanding its digital books business, including by offering discounted pricing to publishers.
The move was spurred by Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s desire to offer cheaper prices to his online rivals and other publishers.
Google’s move to become more focused on books was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The PSA survey found that Amazon, which is also the largest online seller, is now the largest publisher of free books in the United States, surpassing Amazon, Microsoft and even Amazon itself.
The survey found Amazon has more than one million books on sale, about 2 percent of all titles available for sale on Amazon.com.
Google, which has struggled to compete in the market for new titles, is also expected to surpass Apple as the top seller of digital books in 2017.
Amazon had more than 2.3 million titles on sale last year.
Google is expected to eclipse Apple as well.
Google is in talks with publishers about making Amazon the sole publisher of new digital books, the PSA report said.