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Australian media group rejects Amazon's Kindle

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Antipodean publisher Fairfax Media has decided against putting its newspapers onto Amazon's cash cow, claiming the proposed deal was too biased in the book selling giant's favour.

The report comes courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald, who should know as the paper is one of half a dozen Australian titles owned by Fairfax.

According to the paper, Amazon's demand for 30 per cent of the revenue and ownership of the subscription list was too much for the publisher, who's more interested to see what Apple can pull out of its hat next year.

"We're continuously examining all options for extending the reach of our mastheads and we'll be very interested to see what Apple comes up with," said director of marketing and sales Robert Whitehead.

While rumours of an Apple tablet have indeed been knocking around for the last year or two, it's debatable if such a device will be able to compete with the electronic-ink screens used by the Kindle and its competition, certainly not if Apple has any multimedia aspirations for such a device.

A more likely competitor would be Sony, using Adobe's Electronic Editions software, as that should present a more competitive playing field - assuming Adobe can convince any other devices to support its platform.

Without a newspaper deal it's probable that the Aussies will be denied the pleasure of the world's only book that comes with a keyboard, and the ability to retrospectively edit publications, while Fairfax and its contemporaries continue searching for some way of making money out of news. ®

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