Google is trying to force Amazon’s hand in the latest update to the two companies’ feud. Google began notifying Amazon Fire TV customers that they will not be able to access YouTube on the device starting January 1, 2018.
According to a Variety report, Google calls out Amazon’s unwillingness to strike a business deal with the company as well as the number of products Amazon refuses to sell in its online retail store.
In the report, a Google spokesperson says the following:
We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services… But Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and, last month, stopped selling some of Nest’s latest products. Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and FireTV. We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.
This drastic measure comes a few months after Google blocked YouTube access for Amazon’s Echo Show device. At the time, both sides blamed the other. Google claimed Amazon’s implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violated its “terms of service” and created a “broken user experience.”
Amazon recently got YouTube to work again on the Echo Show, but in a roundabout way that wasn’t sanctioned by Google. The new version also overlaid voice commands on the on-screen controls, which Google claims also violates its terms of service. That version of YouTube will be blocked immediately while the Fire TV app won’t work, starting January 1, 2018.
Removing YouTube from the Echo Show likely makes it a less desirable product. YouTube is consistently one of the most popular video-streaming apps, and it’s disappointing to be unable to use it on one of Amazon’s two display-toting Alexa speakers.
Clearly, Google is ready to pull out all the stops in order to force Amazon into a business deal that can hopefully be beneficial for each party. While Amazon would benefit from YouTube access on its various streaming devices, Google likely wants Amazon to start selling its devices again. Amazon stopped selling Chromecast devices back in 2015, it never sold Google Home devices at all, and it recently pulled some Nest devices from its store after YouTube was removed from the Echo Show.