Personal Tech

Tech giants at war: Google pulls plug on YouTube in Amazon kit

You won't sell our stuff? We won't let you watch our vids

By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco

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Google is trying to stop Amazon Echo Show devices from streaming YouTube videos – and from January, it will block Amazon’s Fire TVs from accessing the vid service, too.

It appears the ad giant is killing off access to the YouTube app on Amazon's gadgets. From today, opening the YouTube application on an Echo Show or Fire TV will instead direct folks to the YouTube.com website. We're told the plan is to cut off all access to YouTube from the devices, and Google will end support for Amazon's gear. At this rate, anyway.

This is all due to Amazon refusing to sell Google's kit – such as Chromecast and Google Home – from its online store, not allowing Google Cast to access Amazon Prime Video, and so on. Amazon also earlier booted hardware from Google-stablemate Nest from its web souk.

Basically, Google and Amazon can't strike a deal on Amazon selling Google's gear while it enjoys streaming videos from Google, so bye-bye YouTube on Amazon telly devices.

"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services," Google told journalists today.

"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."

In response, Amazon shot back that... well, it hopes to clear up the matter eventually:

Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing website. Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website. We hope to resolve this with Google as soon as possible.

The move is the latest in the ongoing clash between Google and Amazon over their respective streaming media services and home devices. With the launch of the touchscreen-equipped Echo Show, and Alexa on Fire, Amazon has found itself on a collision course with the Mountain View ads'n'vids giant, which has its own home entertainment stuff to flog.

It's not the first time YouTube has vanished from Echo Show gizmos, either; in September, Google threw a fit over Amazon's integration of YouTube and temporarily removed access. Now it's pulled the plug again.

And this is not the first time Amazon has thumbed its nose at a home entertainment rival. Back in June 2016, Bezos took a shot at Apple and its Apple TV, saying Cupertino wanted too much cash to stock the gear.

Ultimately, it's us, the viewers, who suffer in these trade wars. ®

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