In March, announced that it's buying Goodreads. According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple had been trying to make a deal with the social book recommendation website before Amazon's acquisition foiled its plans.

Apple had been in talks with Goodreads about integrating its book recommendation service into the iBookstore over the past year, said WSJ's sources. They explained that book reviews and ratings from Goodreads users would have appeared within iTunes should a deal have been finalised, but the discussions between the two companies "didn't progress much."

That's because, when Apple got in contact with Goodreads to suggest that they move forwards with the talks, Goodreads has already been approached by Amazon about the possibility of an acquisition. Amazon allegedly told Goodreads not to speak to others while a deal was made, which meant iTunes officials were left "perplexed" when Goodreads executives went quite, according to WSJ.

WSJ's report explains that someone from Apple who was not involved in the discussions about an iBookstore partnership approached Goodreads at around the same time to ask whether the company would be interested in "exploring other options," but Goodreads declined.


Launched in January 2007, Goodreads provides reading recommendations, has a social aspect and will provide reading lists based on what your friends like. The site claims 16 million users and carries 23 million reviews. It is not yet clear exactly how the acquisition will be used, but the deal is expected to close before the end of June.

Amazon already owns Goodreads competitor Shelfari.

The rivalry between Apple and Amazon has also been highlighted by reports this week that Amazon has acquired Siri-like voice assistant Evi for use in its Kindle Fire, and possibly a future smartphone from the company.

See also:

iTunes troubleshooting: Playlists

Apple's making $2bn a year from iTunes thanks to Apple's software sales

Crossing borders with the iTunes Store

Average UK iTunes account is worth £345, new study finds

Why Apple should fix the way iTunes Store purchases work