There’s been no English language announcement from Google (Italian), but it looks like they opened another branch of the Google eBookstore today.
The Italian ebook blog eBookGratis is reporting that they’re now seeing ebooks in Google Play, a first for Italy. I can’t see those pages (regional restrictions), but I did get confirmation from another source that the content is there.
I’m still waiting to hear back from Google, but according to the Google Italy blog they’re now stocking over 2 million titles in their ebookstore including bestsellers and titles from authors like Roberto Saviano, Alessandro Baricco, Umberto Eco, Niccolò Ammaniti, and Massimo Gramellini. Most of those titles are likely in English, given that the Kindle Store stocks less than 10 thousand Italian language ebooks.
Google has also signed a few local publishers, including Mondadori, Einaudi, Piemme, Rizzoli, Bompiani, Adelphi, Longanesi, Garzanti, and Feltrinelli and is carrying titles from the many international publishers that Google has signed in the past. There’s no mention of a local ereader partner, but the Google eBooks Android app should now be available for Italian readers. Google also isn’t discussing the iOS app, but they do point out that you can read the ebooks in your browser.
This is Google’s 5th local ebookstore, following the launch of the US, CAN, AUS, and UK ebookstores. There does not seem to be any pattern to the expansion, aside from an appearance of clustering. The CAN, AUS, and UK ebookstores all opened within a 5 week period and that suggest we might see more Google open more ebookstores in the near future.