Two powerful entertainment media figures have joined forces on a new entrant in the e-book publishing sector.
IAC Chairman Barry Diller and movie producer Scott Rudin have partnered on a new venture called Brightline, according to The New York Times. The pair, which have been rumored to be discussing a partnership since July, will publish e-books in conjunction with Atavist, a publisher specializing in e-books and electronic articles.
Diller, the former Fox executive credited with turning Fox Broadcasting into a major network, said he sees opportunity in the turbulent sector, which had $282 million in e-book revenue in the first quarter of 2012, according to the Association of American Publishers.
"The book business has a concentrated number of players and is unquestionably in transition," Diller told the newspaper. "There is a possibility here that if we start with a blank piece of paper that you could hit the opportunity that exists in the book business now."
Diller and Rudin will be going up against Amazon, which dominates e-book sales with 65 percent of the market. The Internet retail giant recentlyby announcing that it had inked a deal with a book distributor that will allow Amazon competitors such as Apple and Barnes & Noble to sell Amazon titles.
The industry itself has been in a state of flux -- sometimes bitterly so -- since April, when federal prosecutorsto artificially hike prices. While three publishers agreed to settlements, Apple denied the charges and accused Amazon of being the " " behind the prosecution.