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Thursday, April 18, 2013, 12:13 pm PT (03:13 pm ET)

Apple sought iBooks recommendation deal with Goodreads, was blocked by Amazon purchase

Apple was reportedly interested in integrating book recommendations from the service Goodreads into the iBookstore, but those plans were tossed after Amazon bought the social networking site.

Goodreads


Details on the failed partnership concept were revealed on Thursday by The Wall Street Journal, which cited people familiar with the matter. Goodreads and Apple were allegedly in talks for over a year about potential integration.

"Goodreads had proposed its reviews and ratings appear within iTunes when users searched for a title, one of the people said," reported Jessica E. Lessin and Evelyn M. Rusli. "iTunes has already integrated Rotten Tomatoes movie ratings in such a way."

Apple apparently sought to move talks forward when iTunes executives reached out to Goodreads in March. But Apple officials were said to be "perplexed" when Goodreads didn't respond.

The reason for the silence was a deal in the works with Amazon, in which the online retailer eventually purchased Goodreads for an amount that could exceed $200 million.

Apple may have even tried to stop the deal, as the Journal also revealed that an Apple official not involved in the original talks inquired to see if Goodreads was "interested in exploring other options."

Competition between Amazon and Apple has heated up in the digital media space, as Amazon has made strong efforts to grow its digital music sales, and Apple entered the e-book market with the iPad and launch of the iBookstore. New data released this week showed that Apple's iTunes is still the dominant player in digital music with a 63 percent share, while Amazon's Kindle family of devices are said to account for 55 percent of the e-book market.

Competition has grown even more between the two companies with Amazon's budget-oriented Kindle Fire touchscreen tablets, which compete directly with Apple's iPad. And Amazon is even rumored to enter the smartphone market and take on Apple's iPhone as soon as this year, with a new handset that is alleged to feature a 4.7-inch display.