When it comes to acquiring smaller companies, Apple has a bit of a history of trying to make it all happen as quiet as possible. Sometimes it works and other times, well it doesn't work out so well at all and folks spill the beans on them well before Apple is ready.
In the case of BookLamp, otherwise known as 'Pandora For Books' it seems they might have once again had their cover blown. Although the report from TechCrunch notes it happened earlier this year, if the report is correct that secrecy has finally come to an end.
TechCrunch has learned that Apple has made another acquisition, one that it is using to boost its e-books effort and "beat Amazon at its own game." It has bought BookLamp, a startup based out of Boise, Idaho, that developed big data-style book analytics services. A second source says Apple bought BookLamp's employees and technology for a price that was "higher than $10 million, and lower than $15 million."
BookLamp's most well-known product was the Book Genome Project, a platform that let users find suggestions for books to read based on natural language analysis of other titles. BookLamp's tech and talent could help Apple improve its iBooks service with better recommendations, search, and categorization.
At this point, the deal remains unconfirmed by Apple but TechCrunch has amassed a ton of supporting evidence to go along with the tips that it has indeed happened. The BookLamp site has been shut down, there's offices being maintained but no one reportedly works in them. And perhaps the biggest clue, no one from the core team who was working there at the time of shutdown has changed their employer status as of yet.
Update - Apple has now confirmed the purchase to Re/Code simply stating: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans," offering no further comment on the matter.