In a move that echoes contract spats between television networks and cable providers, Google Inc. has announced that it will drop YouTube support for Amazon.com Inc.'s Fire TV and Echo Show media devices starting January 1.
Here's hoping Amazon does something similar with Google.
Fire TV owners, I hope you don't enjoy watching much YouTube, because the app is about to disappear from your device. Earlier this year, Google stopped supporting Amazon's Echo Show so Amazon developed a work-around. The power being thrown around by these two giants is the type of conduct that has some talking about the need to break them up by way of anti-trust action.
Amazon claimed at the time that Google's decision to pull YouTube from Echo Show came "without explanation and without notification to customers". Google's parent company Alphabet owns Nest Labs, maker of connected thermostats and security cameras, and Amazon doesn't sell those devices, as well. It's understandable that Google is frustrated by Amazon using its service but not selling its products, but pulling YouTube from Amazon's devices means that Google is making it harder to use YouTube on Amazon's hardware. Now, it seems that Google will go as far as to remove its YouTube from all Amazon products by the end of the year. Similarly, Amazon Prime Video doesn't support Google's Cast feature, making it hard to get video to a big screen for Android users.
Google said in a statement, "We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible".
Google and Amazon are in the middle of a very public fight where neither is the victor, but consumers are the real losers.
It's a classic example of two companies fighting very publicly at the expense of the customer. Amazon then stopped selling Google Chromecast streaming devices and smart home products produced by Nest, a company owned by YouTube parent Google. Mark Eamer, vice president of Prime Video, said in a statement today that Amazon is "thrilled" to finally have the app on Apple TV. However, Google removed the video streaming service again on December 5.
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