UPDATE 1-MTS in talks to bring Kindle to Russia-sources

Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:56am EDT

* Talks taking place with Kindle-owner Amazon

* Sources say no agreement reached as yet

* Sales could amount to 50,000-70,000 a year -analyst

(Adds analyst comment, background)

By Anastasia Teterevleva

MOSCOW, Oct 16 (Reuters) - MTS (MBT.N), Russia's largest mobile phone operator, is talking to Amazon.com (AMZN.O) over a deal to supply its Kindle electronic reader to Russia, industry sources said on Friday.

"MTS wants to agree on exclusive sales of Kindle in Russia... If they agree, sales will start not earlier than 2010, but they have not yet agreed on anything," one source said.

Another source said the talks were only just beginning.

Amazon said last week it would start selling the Kindle on Oct. 19 in more than 100 countries, including China and most of Europe, intensifying a battle for the burgeoning digital book market. [ID:nN06448548]

The gadget -- previously available only in the United States -- allows readers to download books onto handheld screens and is expected by retail experts to be a big seller in the run-up to Christmas.

The battle for the sector is set to lead to a showdown between Amazon and search engine giant Google (GOOG.O), which said this week it hoped to launch an online store to deliver e-books to any device with a web browser. [ID:nLF590807]

Eldar Murtazin, analyst at consultancy Mobile Research Group, estimated annual sales of Kindle could amount to 50,000-70,000 units in Russia if Amazon provides Cyrillic script support.

MTS declined to comment.

Its shares were flat at 1508 GMT. (Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; writing by Maria Kiselyova and John Bowker; Editing by David Cowell)

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