A price war is heating up in the electronic reader market, as Amazon cut the price of its Kindle eReader below $200 on June 21, just after Barnes & Noble did the same with its competing Nook device, reports the Associated Press. The rapid-fire moves are fanning flames in the still small but rapidly growing market that the book industry sees as a major part of its future. On June 21, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. slashed the price of the Kindle by $70, to $189, just a few hours after bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. reduced the price of the Nook by $60, to $199, and said it would also start selling a new Nook with Wi-Fi access for $149. Both the Kindle and the original Nook can wirelessly download books over high-speed data networks; the Nook also has Wi-Fi access. Seattle-based Amazon has lowered the Kindle’s price several times since the eReader with a grayscale screen debuted in 2007 at $399. The cuts also mean the price gap between these products and Apple Inc.’s touch-screen iPad, which starts at $499, is getting ever wider. The popularity of the iPad, along with a number of other tablet computers soon to be available that offer many functions, have pressured eReader makers to lower prices…

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staff and wire services reports