War? Amazon is Playing Dirty With Canadian Competitors

Amazon’s premier tablet, the vaunted Kindle Fire, is playing dirty.

The device, currently available only in America, is quietly choking off key competitors, including prominent Canadian ones. Yesterday, Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader stumbled upon the discovery, or “troubling detail” as he put it, that you cannot see certain apps in the Amazon Appstore while on the Fire.

A glitch? Sure, one could chalk it up to that—if all these blocked apps weren’t suspiciously similar to one another. And to the Kindle.

“I’ve spent the morning double checking, and it looks like Amazon pulled a sleight of hand with the new Kindle Fire,” wrote Nate. “I can confirm that Bluefire Reader, Kobo, Wattpad, and Aldiko cannot be found via the Kindle Fire … Amazon won’t provide them to you.”

That’s right—Amazon is hiding apps from Kobo and Wattpad, two Toronto-born startups (Kobo was acquired by a Japanese company but remains here for now), among a slew of others, Canadian or otherwise. What do they share in common? They’re all about ereading outside Kindle’s platform. Plain and simple, Amazon is deliberately hindering competition on its tablet.

I’ve seen how thorough Amazon was in blocking their competition and the underhanded manner in which they did it. It reminds me that Amazon is only pretending to be customer oriented. They won’t hesitate to trick you if it suits their best interest.

A cheap tactic, no doubt. But as they say, “All is fair in love and war.”