Update: We asked Amazon for its take on what caused its app to be removed from Google Play.
An Amazon spokesperson relied 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 15,000 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 catalogue, can still get the Amazon App for Android Phones at amazon.co.uk/androidapp (opens in new tab)".
Original story follows...
Amazon has replaced its Google Play app with a new version at Google's behest - all because the old app linked users to Amazon's own app store.
Google doesn't allow other app stores in Google Play, but Amazon updated its app in September with a link to download Amazon apps directly to users' Android devices.
It seemed the bookseller had gotten away with it, but now the app has disappeared, and Amazon confirmed with Android Police that Google forced it to take it down. Apparently the search company changed some language in its developer agreement in late September, making Amazon's app objectively against the rules.
The section previously stated that developers could not release apps "whose primary purpose" is to distribute other apps, while the new version prohibits "any product which has a purpose" that does the same. Oh well.
Instead Google Play now hosts a new and separate "Amazon Shopping" app that, other than the removal of Amazon's app listings, is identical to the old one. And the old one is still available for sideloading from Amazon's website.