…THE latest newcomer to the e-lending business was the first to be called out. Like other similar sites, Lendle relies on loans of books purchased for Amazon’s Kindle reader. But on Monday morning Amazon turned off the content tap that feeds the site; it was not switched on again until Tuesday evening. The brief outage demonstrates a fundamental truth about the internet: if you don’t own the data you need to run your business, you’re dependent on the policies—and whims—of the parties that do. Jeff Croft, Lendle’s founder, says he will not make that mistake again.
Amazon resorted to a clever ruse when blocking Lendle. No threats of legal intervention were involved. Instead, Mr Croft says he received an email from the Amazon affiliates program saying Lendle had violated the terms and has been locked out from a database of content and deprived of the share of sales of items linked to from its site. Five of Lendle’s competitors appear not to have been similarly afflicted.