Google yanks YouTube from Amazon's products amid bitter public spat between two companies

Andrew Griffin
The Echo show, which has become the focuse of a bitter dispute: Amazon

Google is yanking YouTube from some Amazon products after the companies have become engaged in a bitter tow.

The two technology giants have publicly fallen out over whether or not the YouTube app should be able to appear on Amazon's smart Echo Show, which is like its smart cylinders but includes a screen. Now, as a result, Google has said that it will also take YouTube from Amazon's popular Fire TV streaming devices.

Doing so deprives Amazon of one of the most popular video services in the world, which is supported on all of its rivals. But YouTube also misses out on views from the very popular streaming devices – a sign of how bitter the feud has become.

Google claims that the way the Echo Show uses YouTube was in violation of its rules, and that it was unfair that Google was being forced to support Amazon when the online marketplace had stopped stocking its products. But Amazon says that the company is being spiteful and was limiting what products were able to connect to Google's video service.

The companies had clashed in September over the way Amazon used YouTube on its Echo Show – which Google claimed violated its terms of service.

Amazon has also previously stopped selling several Google hardware devices including audio streaming products and Nest smart home products.

Google's own Home smart speaker is a direct rival to Amazon's Echo line of products.

Google said this "lack of reciprocity" was the reason it had stopped YouTube support to some Amazon devices.

"We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services," a Google spokeswoman said.

"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."

In response, Amazon said Google had set a "disappointing precedent".

"Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube's existing website," a company spokeswoman said.

"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."

In September, Google originally stopped support for YouTube on the Echo Show after claiming the implementation of YouTube on the Show created a "broken user experience".

YouTube reappeared on the Echo Show last month, but TechCrunch has claimed this was done without Google's input. This workaround has now been closed by Google.

Industry analyst Richard Windsor from Edison Investment Research said the market rivalry between the two companies could hinder an agreement being reached.

"We don't think Google will go out of its way to patch things up with Amazon as having YouTube absent from Amazon devices could disincentivise users from going with Echo products giving Google Home a badly needed boost," he said.

"Google and Amazon have been sparring for several months but the move by Google to pull YouTube off Amazon ecosystem devices may bring this issue to a head."

Additional reporting by Press Association

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