When Google and Amazon do battle consumers get caught in the middle

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When Google and Amazon do battle consumers get caught in the middle

Search giant attacks ‘lack of reciprocity’ after online retailer bans sale of its products

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Thursday, December 7, 2017 – 6:10am

Google has announced plans to stop Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices using YouTube from the start of 2018, as a row between the two companies intensifies.

In 2015, Amazon stopped selling several of Google’s hardware products online, including the search engine giant’s Chromecast video and audio-streaming dongles.

In a statement, Google said it had been “trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services” but, “given the lack of reciprocity”, had decided to no longer support YouTube on Echo Show or FireTV.

Google stopped Amazon’s Echo Show speakers playing YouTube videos in September. Techcruch reported that despite efforts on the part of Amazon, the search firm believes its rights continue to be violated because of changes to the way the software operates.

“The dispute disadvantages consumers in two ways,” says the BBC. Users will be unable to access a service that Amazon’s devices had promised to deliver, while Amazon’s refusal to even allow third-parties to sell certain Google products via its site makes it harder to find them at their lowest price.

Speaking to the BBC, Ben Wood from the CCS Insight tech consultancy said it was a “surprising turn of events in both respects”.

“YouTube is all about maximising the number of people who see its content, and Amazon wants to be the so-called ‘everything store’,” he said, but in the end it is consumers who will bear the brunt of commercial tensions between the two companies.

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