Apple has confirmed a story that first appeared in TechCrunch this evening, saying Apple "buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."
BookLamp, sometimes referred to as 'Pandora for books', developed some exclusive algorithms that analyzed book content to make recommendations to readers. The Boise, Idaho based company was actually acquired by Apple this spring, but the deal was kept quiet.
Apple's purchase is being seen as a competitive move against Amazon, which offers customers very good recommendations based on prior purchases. Apple, which has struggled for traction with its iBooks store, could certainly use the technology BookLamp has developed.
BookLamp started out as an Apple customer, but Apple probably wants the technology all to itself. Currently, the iBook store lists top sellers, but has no recommendation engine.
The BookLamp website has a 'Thank you for your Support' message, but nothing about the Apple purchase. The price Apple paid is estimated to be between 10-15 million dollars.