Back when it was announced Amazon would buy Goodreads, I suggested the move was brilliant in part because there were no obvious countermoves for Apple or B&N. As it turns out, Amazon may have bought Goodreads in large part because of a potential alliance between the reading social net and their Cupertino-based competitor.
According to a story in the Wall Street Journal today, Apple and Goodreads were working together over the past year to integrate Goodreads data into the iBookstore. That is, until, Amazon decided to buy them.
According to the Journal,
Amazon insisted Goodreads cease talking to others while a deal was done, the people said. Amazon, which had been laboring to build its own social-networking service, purchased Goodreads for what could be more than $200 million if it meets performance targets.
So it looks like Amazon made a strategic buy, not only to bolster its own lackluster social efforts, but to also take a potential strategic partnership away from Apple that could have strengthened the iBookstore relative to Amazon’s Kindle.
That’s some serious hardball, but Amazon understands the competitive weapon it has in Kindle and e-books, and it just made clear how quickly it will move to project it.