GOOGLE HAS made good on its threat to block YouTube from Amazon's Fire TV streaming stick as the rumbling feud between the two tech giants continues.
Threats have been pushed back and forth between the two companies for several months now, with Google citing Amazon's refusal to sell its products or offer Amazon Prime Video as a Chromecast app.
Amazon has said it will now carry a limited range of Google hardware but has repeatedly said that it does not wish to "confuse" customers by selling products that aren't compatible with its service.
Which is kind of weird because adding Chromecast, which the company has now done, is a breeze - that's sort of the point. The issue is that Amazon uses a locked-in version of Android - Fire OS - with its own app store, and given that its business model involves selling hardware as a loss leader, it would much rather you bought its products.
Amazon also recently released an Apple TV app and agreed to sell a limited range of those products, but it wasn't enough for Google, who having already removed YouTube from the Echo Show, has now pulled it from Fire TV.
Carriage disputes between rivals are nothing new. In March 2007, Sky pulled its entire suite of channels from Virgin Media, who responded by renaming a newly vacated channel as "Old Sky Snooze" until Richard Branson personally intervened.
Eventually, a deal was found and relations have remained largely cordial ever since. But for Google and Amazon, the argument is more complex with issues of both hardware and software to be untangled.
Indeed, Google's reluctance to back down on the issue has led to repeated rumours that Amazon will dispense with YouTube and launch its own rival service.
In the meantime, although the app has been blocked, users can still access YouTube on both Echo Show and Fire TV using the internet. It's not as convenient, but it's better than nothing.
The bigger issue is that the warring sides seem no closer to an agreement, despite Amazon having made a number of compromises.
One of the sticking points appears to have been Amazon's use of an Alexa voice control layer on the YouTube app which Google claims is a violation of its terms of service. µ
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