Five of the nation's largest publishers of newspapers and magazines plan to challenge Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle electronic-book reader with their own digital format that would display in color and work on a variety of devices.


Time Inc., News Corp., Conde Nast, Hearst Corp., and Meredith Corp., whose magazines include Time, Cosmopolitan, and Better Homes and Gardens, announced a joint venture on Dec. 8 to develop the format that rivals Kindle's gray "electronic ink." It promises to emphasize visuals, retaining the distinctive look of each publication, as compared to the text-oriented Kindle.


The format would incorporate videos, games, and social networking, along with...

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