(GOOGL, GOOG), said Tuesday that it is pulling YouTube from some Amazon.com Inc. devices in retaliation for Amazon refusing to sell many Google products, escalating a battle between two tech titans as their businesses increasingly overlap.
The Fire TV loses access to its YouTube app on January 1, Google said. Now that Google is completely removing YouTube support for the Echo Show, Amazon's workaround will no longer work as of today.
However, with devices like Chromecast competing with Amazon Fire TV, and the Google Home smart speaker taking on the likes of Amazon's Echo, Amazon has shown resistance to giving its competition a leg up.
The dispute initially led to Google's removal of YouTube from the Echo Show, but the app returned several weeks later.
GOOGLE says it will block users from accessing YouTube on some of Amazon's best-selling devices... unless Amazon starts selling Google's products. Amazon is also not selling Alphabet's Google Home and Chromecast hardware. Since the initial YouTube squabble, Amazon has stopped listing some Nest products. Google's device is called Chromecast and has 36.9 million US users, according to research company eMarketer, while Amazon's Fire TV has 35.8 million users in the US.
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In a statement, Google said, "Amazon doesn't carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn't make (its) Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of (our sister company) Nest's latest products. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon", the statement added. Variety reported that Amazon's latest implementation also had some terms-of-service issues, which were related to the way it used voice commands.
"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services", a Google spokesperson told TechCrunch.
Amazon's Fire TV devices will also be affected.
Amazon and Apple mended ties earlier this year when it was announced Prime Video would come to Apple TV.
Amazon did not immediately respond when asked if Apple TV will return to Amazon's online store now that it supports Amazon Prime.
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Amazon said Google was "setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website", but said they hoped to resolve the dispute.
The move is undoubtedly a huge blow for Amazon but we hope that the situation can eventually be resolved.
"When Amazon first made the Echo widely available in 2015, many weren't sure what to make of the product...."
"Through our collaboration with Google, we are expanding our Omnichannel efforts to go beyond stores and online to in-home". Google called it a "broken user experience", which likely referred to the device's inability to use features such as subscribing to channels, autoplay, and next video recommendations, though the way it displayed ads and tracked users were likely to be influencing factors.
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