said it is pulling YouTube
from some Amazon.
com Inc. devices in retaliation for Amazon
refusing to sell many Google
products, escalating a battle between two tech titans as their businesses increasingly overlap.
said Tuesday it had cut access to YouTube
on Amazon’s smart speakers with screens, called the Echo Show, and that it plans to block YouTube
on Amazon’s Fire TV media-streaming device on Jan. 1.
Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc.
, said Amazon’s retail website doesn’t sell competing products like the Google
Home smart speaker or Google’s Chromecast streaming device. Google
also claimed that Amazon’s Prime Video lineup of shows and movies isn’t available via the Chromecast.
It added that Amazon
has stopped selling some products from Nest, a connected-device maker that is Google’s sister firm under Alphabet. Amazon
in October launched a home-security system that competes with Nest.
“Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube
on Echo Show and Fire TV,” a Google
spokeswoman said Tuesday.
spokeswoman said, “Google
is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”
Both companies said they hope to resolve the issue quickly.
The rare public spat between two of the world’s most powerful companies highlights increasing tensions as they spread their ambitions to new products and industries.
started in online search and Amazon
in retail, each now has competing hardware and content businesses that they are betting will expand their dominance.
already pulled YouTube
off Amazon’s Echo Show
device in September because it said Amazon’s implementation of YouTube
violated its policies by barring users from logging in or commenting.
Last month, a few days before the Black Friday shopping bonanza, Amazon
was working on the Echo Show again. A person familiar with Google’s thinking said Amazon
had worked around its move to block access to its YouTube
voice-controlled app by sending users to YouTube’s website, an approach that also violates YouTube’s policies. Amazon’s Prime Video service, which offers access to movies and TV shows over the internet, is blocked on Google’s Chromecast streaming device, which sends content from phones and laptops onto TVs.
will be blocking access to YouTube
on Amazon’s Fire TV streaming device.
has tried to negotiate with Amazon
to get its Chromecast and Google
Home products on Amazon’s retail site, but Amazon
has told Google
bluntly it won’t sell them, according to the person familiar with Google’s thinking. On Tuesday, asking Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant to add a Google
Chromecast to a user’s shopping cart caused the assistant to add Amazon’s competing Fire TV Stick to the cart. Amazon
also doesn’t sell Apple Inc . AAPL -0.09% ‘s Apple TV streaming device. A person familiar with Amazon’s thinking said retailers frequently decide against carrying certain products, but it is rare for any firm to block access to a public website.
The person familiar with Google’s thinking said Amazon
also built an unauthorized way to access YouTube
via its Fire TV device.
spokeswoman said the Echo Show and Fire TV display standard web views of YouTube.
Patrick Moorhead, head of tech-research firm Moor Insights & Strategy, said Google
appears to be using access to YouTube
as leverage in its negotiations with Amazon-and the losers are customers.
“This is classic tech-giant sparring,” he said. “For consumers, it’s not good.”
Still, the companies likely won’t stop working together in other areas. Their relationship is complicated. Amazon
is one of Google’s largest customers, buying many high-price ads on its search engine. Google
also still sells other popular products through Amazon, including its new Pixel smartphones.