Apple Pursued Goodreads for iBooks Partnership But Amazon Got in First

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According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, Apple had planned to pursue a partnership with Goodreads, a book discovery and recommendation service, but those plans were thwarted by Amazon, which ended up acquiring the reading service last month:’s announcement last month that it was purchasing book-recommendation site Goodreads did more than land the e-commerce giant a social-networking service. It also thwarted a possible partnership between the reading social network and Apple.

Over the past year, Apple and Goodreads had begun discussing integrating Goodreads’ service, which allows users to share and rate what they are reading, into Apple’s iBookstore, which sells digital books, according to people familiar with the matter.

One source said Goodreads wanted to insert its reviews and ratings within iTunes to be displayed when users searched for books, similar to how Rotten Tomatoes is integrated into the digital software. Apple listened to the idea but did not pursue the matter.

In March, Apple wanted to resume and move forward with Goodreads management, but the latter fell silent, confusing iTunes executives. The reason for ignoring Apple was because Goodreads was deep in talks to be acquired by Amazon. Another Apple representative contacted Goodreads to engage in further discussions but the latter declined.

Apple has long been embarked in a legal battle with the US Department of Justice, which alleges the company colluded with book publishers to set book prices. Apple has long maintained Amazon has a “monopolistic grip on the publishing industry”.