Amazon quietly released a functional app store within its primary app back in September. The store wasn't just a list of apps the company has on sale elsewhere - it was a complete and functional app store on its own, quietly hidden within the main app.
Apparently Google hadn't spotted this before, but now that it has, the app has been removed from Google Play. According to the Google Developer Distribution Agreement, no developer can facilitate the distribution of games or apps to be used on an Android device outside the boundaries of the Google Play Store. As Amazon's official app violated this term, the app was subsequently removed. Furthermore, Google was also not earning any revenue from the downloads through Amazon's app store so the app.
Amazon itself has a different stance in the situation, claiming that the app was actually removed because of the Amazon Prime Instant Video feature, saying that:
We launched a new Amazon App for Android Phones on September 9 that provides an award-winning mobile shopping experience, enables customers to discover and purchase all of Amazon’s digital catalogue, and provides customers access to the Prime Instant Video player and unlimited streaming of over 40,000 movies and TV episodes. Google subsequently changed their Developer Distribution Agreement on September 25. As a result, we removed the app from Google Play and published the Amazon Shopping app. Customers who want the best Amazon experience on their Android phone, including access to Prime Instant Video and Amazon’s entire digital catalog, can still get the Amazon App for Android Phones at amazon.com/androidapp.
As stated above, the Amazon app can still be directly downloaded through Amazon's website. Moreover, the company has also released another app to the Play Store going by the name of 'Amazon Shopping' which basically resurrects the previous app with the internal store disabled.
Moving forward, the situation is getting more interesting with Google and Amazon competing to achieve superiority over both the physical and digital markets. Amazon is launching its own diapers, as well as selling its own extremely unpopular phones. Now, with Google's claim that Amazon and not Bing is the company's largest search competitor, there are even more hints of rivalry and competition to what is a seemingly trivial app removal issue.
Source: Engadget |Image via TechCrunch