Google acquires La Jolla’s eBook Technologies

By Kathy Day
Staff Writer

La Jolla resident Garth Conboy confirmed Friday that his company, eBook Technologies, Inc., has been acquired by Google.

Google was not releasing details, he said, and referred to a statement on what remains of the eBook website. It reads: “eBook Technologies, Inc. is excited to announce that we have been acquired by Google. Working together with Google will further our commitment to providing a first-class reading experience on emerging tablets, e-readers and other portable devices.”

While he could not offer additional details, Conboy said he said he has had an office in La Jolla “in one form or the other since 1997.”

Garth Conboy

He said he and his engineering team focused on client software, reading systems and content production tools in the e-book industry. They also were involved in developing standards for what is now called ePub.

Before eBook Technologies was founded in 2004, he was general manager for Gemstar’s eBook group, which was “spun down” when Gemstar decided to get out of the technology business after the dot-com crash.

He and his partner John Rivlin licensed back their patents and technology to form ETI, he said.

Before joining Gemstar he was vice president of software engineering with Softbook Press. He holds a number of eBook-related patents.

Various publications across the tech world have commented on the transaction, noting it was Google’s first transaction the new year.

Ben Parr, writing on his blog at, said, “It’s no secret Google has big ambitions in e’books.”

He noted “this acquisition is mostly about patents, personnel and technology, rather than hardware or software.”

Information Week’s Thomas Claburn wrote (see that “Google declined to provide specific details about its future product plans. ‘We are happy to welcome eBook Technologies’ team to Google,’ said a spokesperson in an e-mailed statement. ‘”

Conboy, whose wife Laura Ducharme is a La Jolla architect, said they will remain La Jolla residents. However, he will be working between Google’s Mountain View headquarters and offices in Irvine.

He said he could not discuss how many other eBook employees will go with him to Google.

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Posted by Kathy Day on Jan 14, 2011. Filed under Featured Story, La Jolla, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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