16 October 2019
Amazon Fire TV will lose access to the YouTube app on January 1. Photo: Reuters
Amazon Fire TV will lose access to the YouTube app on January 1. Photo: Reuters

Google pulls YouTube from Amazon devices, escalating spat

Google has decided to block its video streaming application YouTube from two Amazon devices in retaliation for the online retailer’s refusal to sell some Google products, escalating a rare public spat in the technology industry.

“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,” Google said in a statement Tuesday, Reuters reports.

“Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV,” Google said. “We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”

In response, Amazon issued its own statement in which it accused Google of “setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”

The e-commerce giant said it hopes to resolve the issue with Google as soon as possible. Customers could access YouTube through the internet – not an app – on the devices in the meantime.

The break has been a long time coming. Amazon kicked the Chromecast, Google’s television player, off its retail website in 2015, along with Apple’s TV player, Reuters noted.

Amazon had explained the move by saying it wanted to avoid confusing customers who might expect its Prime Video service to be available on devices sold by Amazon.

Amazon and Apple mended ties earlier this year when it was announced Prime Video would come to Apple TV. Not so with Google.

In September, Google cut off YouTube from the Amazon Echo Show, which had displayed videos on its touchscreen without video recommendations, channel subscriptions and other features.

Amazon later reintroduced YouTube to the device, but the voice commands it added violated the use terms and on Tuesday Google again removed the service.

The Fire TV loses access to its YouTube app on Jan. 1, Google said. Amazon has sold that device for longer than the Echo Show, meaning more customers may now be affected.

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