Engadget reports that publishers are complaining that they want a universal e-book format.
But...but...there's already a universal e-book format. It's called epub and it works great.
Of course, they wouldn't be publishers if they didn't also lust after robust DRM measures, which might explain why they're not roundly supporting the readily available EPUB format. It has DRM options, but perhaps they're not gnarly enough for the dudes responsible for bringing us the psychological horror of the Twilight series.
Sigh. I'm not crazy enough to think that Amazon and Apple would start selling open, un-DRMed e-books, and I can understand the publishing industry's problem with e-books as they are right now—you can't buy a book in the iBookstore and then read it on a Kindle—but this is a conversation that should have happened five years ago. It's way too late now.