Google is ending a program that allowed independent booksellers to offer e-books from its online store.
In a blog posting Thursday, Google digital publishing director Scott Dougall wrote that the program hadn't "gained the traction" the company was hoping for. Beginning Jan. 31, the search engine giant will sell e-books only through Google Play.
Publishers and booksellers had hoped that Google's e-book store would cut into Amazon.com's lead in the digital market. Some complained that the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google was reluctant to promote the service, which launched in 2010.
The CEO of the trade group the American Booksellers Association told store members in an email that the association was "very disappointed" by Google's decision. But Oren Teicher says they "have every confidence" a new outlet will be found.