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Apple buys e-book recommendation engine, report says

The tech giant's potential purchase could help it compete in an area dominated by Amazon's prized e-book business, according to TechCrunch.

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Apple may be upping its e-books game with the purchase of a book-analytics company, TechCrunch reported Friday.

The company has bought BookLamp, a service that generated e-book recommendations for buyers based on a natural language analysis of books they'd read in the past, an anonymous tipster relayed to TechCrunch. Details from the tipster suggested that the price tag was between $10 million and $15 million and the purchase was meant to better position Apple against Amazon, which applies a recommendation engine to all its products.

When asked to comment, Apple replied with the following statement and provided no further details:

"Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

BookLamp no longer has an active site. Instead, it has a farewell page that indicates the site "will no longer be available as our company evolves its mission."