The ongoing feud between Amazon and Google is escalating and getting ugly. Today, Mountain View has confirmed it has blocked YouTube access on Amazon's Echo Show and Fire TV devices. The decision follows a dispute over how YouTube is implemented on the Echo Show, which has been rumbling on since September.
Google originally pulled the video service from the Echo Show three months ago. Amazon criticized the decision, saying Google pulled the app “without explanation and notification to customers.”
In an instant rebuttal, Google said YouTube had been removed from the Echo Show because Amazon implements the app incorrectly. The company says the retailer violates their terms, which results in “a broken user experience.”
Amazon reintroduced the YouTube application through a workaround. Google has said it could bring back the app officially, but is unhappy with Amazon pursuing an unofficial route. Mountain View has responded by removing the app from Echo Show and Fire TV.
“We've been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other's products and services,” a Google spokesperson told Engadget.
“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.”
This means the workaround will also not work as of today on the Echo Show. The Fire TV application will cease working after Jan. 1, 2018. Amazon released an official statement to respond to Google's action:
“Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube's existing website. 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.”
Route of the Problem
A source close to the situation told Engadget that one major disagreement revolves around Google's unhappiness at Amazon for building its own YouTube app for its devices. Mountain View apparently also wants Amazon to sell its devices, like Chromecast.
Amazon is reluctant to do this because Google's products compete directly with its hardware.