Google said Wednesday it had reached agreement with the Italian culture ministry to scan up to a million books housed in the national libraries of Rome and Florence.

The move comes as publishers and tech companies battle for dominance in the fast-growing digital e-book market, with Google positioning itself as a go-to place on the Internet for potential book buyers.

The agreement regards out-of-copyright books published before 1868, including writings by Italian physicist Galileo Galilei and German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler.

Google will also provide the libraries with digital copies of the books to post on their own websites.

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