EVERYTHING-SELLER Amazon has announced plans to ban sales of the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, claiming that the devices' lack of Prime Video support is confusing for customers.
Amazon has told third-party sellers that all Apple TV and Chromecast inventory has to be sold by 29 October, or it will be removed from sale.
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said in an email sent to sellers this week. "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
We're calling BS here, as is Bloomberg, which first reported on Amazon's decision. The retailer's note implies that Apple and Google have made the decision not to support Prime Instant Video on their platforms, when in reality it was Amazon's.
An Amazon employee confirmed this in a now-deleted post on Reddit, saying: "In the case of the Chromecast, its lack of support is entirely because Amazon decided not to support it. With the next Apple TV, they certainly can make an app if they choose.
"I'm pretty sure they just want people to buy the FireTV, which sadly does not provide the best customer experience in a world where everything else supports AirPlay and/or Chromecast."
What's more, Bloomberg noted that 20 percent of the company's customers are Prime subscribers, so selling devices lacking support for its video service is unlikely to confuse many.
Apple and Google declined to comment.
Amazon will continue to sell other devices that play nice with its homegrown video streaming service, including Roku’s stick and set-top box, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. Naturally, it will also continue to sell its own Fire line of TV streaming devices.
"Roku, Xbox and PlayStation all interact well with Prime Video and are not affected by this change," the retailer said.
It's unclear whether Amazon's move will be viewed as anti-competitive and see the firm ending up in hot water with competition watchdogs across the globe.
However, a lawyer told Bloomberg that the firm is likely to be let off the hook given that Apple's and Google's TV streamers are available to purchase elsewhere. µ
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