Sony, that's who.
Let me assure my antipodal readers that I know I'm a week behind on this story. I missed it the first time around because I was distracted by the device announcement. But I think this story is important enough that it's still worth a post. This was probably missed by a lot of people outside the region and it's an important detail.
I've just gotten confirmation from my new contact with Sony Australia that they will not open a Sony ebookstore in Australia or New Zealand. Instead they've signed a deal with Redgroup Retail to use the Redgroup branded Kobo ebookstore. In New Zealand that means Sony Reader owners can now use Whitcoulls to buy their ebooks, and in Australia you have the option of either Borders AU or Angus & Robertson (same ebookstore, dfferent color scheme).
I wonder how they're handling the device registration issues? Do they all work with the same desktop app?
Ooh. I just now realized that now we have the new Kobo Desktop app (it supports Sony Readers), Australian owners will be spared the agony of using the Sony Library. You lucky dogs.