As the New York Times reports, Sony has announced that their online eBook Store will sell only ePub-formatted ebooks by the end of the year.

This is clearly good for consumers, as more companies embracing a unified format will make buying and reading ebooks much easier.

However, all is not well on the ebook front. Despite some misleading headlines, “open format” doesn’t mean that Sony’s abandoning DRM. As TeleRead explains, Adobe-DRMed ePub is different from plain ePub, and will require ereaders that support Adobe Digital Editions.

Really, this is a move of surrender by Sony. With their hardware already able to support ePub, I’m not sure who’s still overpaying for Sony’s proprietary BBeB books. But it’s one less proprietary format to worry about, so it’s at least that good step forward.

In related stuff, Giga Om explains why Adobe’s the big winner here, MobileRead has a list of ereaders that support ePub, and also a little bird saying there’s a third Sony Reader coming.