Apple had been talking to popular book recommendation service Goodreads about a partnership between the service and iBooks, but that was quashed when Amazon acquired the company earlier this year.
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.
Goodreads had proposed its reviews and ratings appear within iTunes when users searched for a title, one of the people said. iTunes has already integrated Rotten Tomatoes movie ratings in such a way. Apple was entertaining the idea, but talks didn’t progress much, two of the people said.
iTunes executives reached out to Goodreads in March, but were reported to have been “perplexed” when Goodreads didn’t respond to their overtures.
Apparently the silence was due to a deal that was in the works with Amazon, and the online retailer acquired Goodreads for an amount that could exceed $200 million.
The WSJ also revealed that an Apple official not involved in the original talks made inquiries to see if Goodreads would be “interested in exploring other options.”
Amazon is reported to be planning on keeping Goodreads as a separate entity, but will be integrating its recommendations into the mail order giant’s system.