Google, which is owned by Alphabet, said on Tuesday that the decision to block YouTube from Echo Show and Fire TV was due to a "lack of reciprocity" from Amazon, and followed failed attempts to reach an agreement over mutual access to products and services for customers of both companies. "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", a statement from Google said.
However, Amazon's command of online shopping - eMarketer estimates it has 44 per cent of the United States market - is a threat to Google's sales of other gadgets such as its Nest connected home products. "We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon", the statement added.
Amazon Echo Show devices will lose access to YouTube. The Show, unveiled in May, lets you scan your calendar for things like appointments and view weather forecasts. YouTube returned to the Echo Show last month, before being pulled again on Tuesday. And Amazon has been skirting those terms of service by overlaying the Alexa assistant on top of YouTube.
The YouTube app was reinstated a few weeks ago, but sources tell TechCrunch this was an act Amazon worked on behind Google's back.
Google and Amazon are fierce competitors, as each company offers a set of similar products to consumers.
Google is axing its YouTube service on some Amazon streaming products following a business row between the two technology giants. Amazon is also not selling Alphabet's Google Home and Chromecast hardware.
Amazon and Apple mended ties earlier this year when it was announced Prime Video would come to Apple TV. As for the Amazon Fire TV, the version of YouTube on that device will only work until January 1, 2018.
While each company can expect to see a financial hit, it's the customers who will suffer, including the millions of current Fire TV users. Apple TV owners are only now able to access movies and videos they subscribe to through Amazon Prime or paid for through Amazon's online-video stores, which rivals iTunes, even though both have been on the market for years. "Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website", a spokesperson said. Amazon in October launched a home-security system that competes with Nest.
The move is undoubtedly a huge blow for Amazon but we hope that the situation can eventually be resolved.
"Through our collaboration with Google, we are expanding our Omnichannel efforts to go beyond stores and online to in-home".
"When Amazon first made the Echo widely available in 2015, many weren't sure what to make of the product...."