Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is gearing up to try to steal online business from Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN). It is not, however, planning to build brick-and-mortar stores that mimic its chief rival, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL).
A pair of separate reports claim that the deep-pocketed search engine wants to get into the online retail space with some ferocity but doesn't want to compete with Apple--or anyone--in the brick-and-mortar world.
"Google's increasingly aggressive effort to steal online retail from Amazon is turning into one of the most intriguing business battles of the year, and not just because of the sight of two behemoths pounding on each other," a Wired story by Marcus Wohlsen said. "Google's unique position in the Internet's infrastructure means that it can count on more than its own resources to take on Amazon. The search giant also serves as the platform from which everyone else trying to beat Amazon can use to fire their salvos."
The key point of the story is that Google wants to expand its online prowess, not branch out into physical stores. This dampens reports from an "extremely reliable source" who last week told blog 9to5 that the search engine was planning to build standalone retail stores in the United States to sell its Android devices.
"Google has no plans, and we have nothing to announce," Andy Rubin, who heads up Google's Android business, told reporters at Mobile World Congress 2013, according to CNET. "A few years ago, consumers needed to touch and feel devices, but these days they can often get the information they need to make a purchase decision by talking to friends and reading reviews. They don't have to go in the store and feel it anymore."
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