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Report: German Launch Of Amazon’s Kindle Stalled Over Wireless-Connection Pricing

The Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle, a success if you believe the buzz around the device and some of the numbers analysts have come up with, is looking to expand internationally, and, as a part of that, Germany, Europe’s biggest book market, is believed to be among the first of those new target markets.

Now, a report in Wirtschaftswoche, a German business weekly says that negotiations have stalled, mainly because the company has been unable to strike a deal with the main wireless companies in Germany, T-Mobile and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD). Wireless connection allows users to download the books to the Kindle, and in U.S., it is provided free (built into the cost) by Sprint (NYSE: S). The connection service also enables Whispersync, the ability to sync multiple Kindles and other portable devices (iPhone and others).

The story says the wireless carriers were asking for more for the wholesale service than Amazon was willing to give. Another likely factor, beyond simply wanting to make more money, in T-Mobile’s negotiating position: its parent company, Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT), is reportedly working on an e-news reader. It has announced some plans for its News4Me reader before, but the device appears to be more focused on news than books. Sony (NYSE: SNE) Reader. the main competing product to Kindle, launched in Germany three months ago, but lacks a wireless connection and works by syncing with a computer.

2 Responses to “Report: German Launch Of Amazon’s Kindle Stalled Over Wireless-Connection Pricing”

  1. pwjone1

    I find it somewhat amusing, after taking (perhaps justifiably) a lot of ribbing about how superior the European cell systems are to those in the United States, that Amazon cannot apparently find someone to do WhisperNet in the EU. The US cellular companies, including two with German roots, are pretty much standing in line to provide Amazon and it's US competitors WhisperNet like capabilities. Great way to get some money for what's essentially backup bandwidth. The whole problem seems, well, so German.