This seems pretty logical if you think on it and it fits with what I have said about GBS from the beginning. I wonder how long before Google start to partner with booksellers to sell direct from GBS itself? It would be logical to sell, not just digital versions of in copyright books, but also print versions. the publisher could certainly afford to do the deal. Even if they gave Google some percentage of the cover price/selling price (even a large one) they could still make a great deal of money. This is especially true if more and more of searches end up with native results from the GBS database! What is more Google’s payment system could handle transactions and keep publishers costs down. It is a win-win situation.
I do wonder how long before Google starts to monetize this system with or without the partnership of publishers. Even if Google were to create an Associates type deal with Amazon the revenue could be significant as the traffic from GBS grows. the opportunity lost to publishers would be significant. It is clear to me that the longer publishers resist this, the more the danger of Googel simply saying a) we have the resources to go it alone, or b) yes you can come in with us but we are now so entrenched and powerful the terms are awful.
I like Google Book Search, I agree that it can be improved (See Video Here) but overall it seems bizarre to me that publisher shave not hopped on the bandwagon with greater speed and abandon!