Amazon and Barnes & Noble Pull ‘Buy’ Links From Apps

Apple is starting to enforce its new app guidelines

In the latest development in Apple’s contentious relationship with booksellers, the country’s two biggest e-book retailers—Amazon and Barnes & Noble—have stopped selling their wares directly to customers through their Apple apps, reports The Wall Street Journal. Canadian bookseller Kobo did the same just this past weekend.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble told customers that they had removed the “buy” link from their iPhone apps yesterday. Customers will be able to access their digital titles through the Kindle and Nook apps on their iPads, but in order to actually buy new content, they’ll have to visit the Kindle and Nook store websites on Safari—a much more complicated process than simply clicking a button.

The changes have likely been prompted by Apple’s new App Store guidelines, which were announced in February and are now beginning to kick in. The terms state that all companies offering content for download on an Apple device must make that content directly available through an app, not through a link within the app to an outside site. Apple also said that it would take a 30 percent cut of all sales.

As purchasing Kindle or Nook e-books becomes more complicated, customers might be more likely to buy their content from Apple’s iBookstore, Idea Logical Co. CEO Mike Shatzkin told the WSJ. “The iBookstore app will be the only reading app where you can shop within the app and purchase books, which is the point,” he said, adding that some publishers that don’t already sell through the iBookstore might begin to reconsider.