• Kyodo News

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Sony Corp. and three other firms said Wednesday they have fully launched a joint business to distribute electronic books via smart phones and other digital reading devices.

The new firm, booklista Co., will create an open platform that allows digital reader manufacturers and content owners such as publishers to set up online bookstores by offering various services such as collecting and digitalizing contents and offering certification and billing systems, Sony, KDDI Corp., Toppan Printing Co. and Asahi Shimbun Co. said.

Launched Nov. 4 by transforming a preparatory firm set up in July into a business with ¥30 million in capital, the company is designed to handle various kinds of content, including literature, business books and essays, and plans to expand coverage to manga, newspapers and magazines, they said.

“The essence of books and manga will not change whether they are carried in paper media or on network media. . . . We want to provide many people with places to see electronic publications and have them experience how remarkable they are,” booklista President Toshihiro Konno said in a statement.

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