By Jeffrey Dastin
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 26 (Reuters) – In a rare public feud
between large technology companies, Amazon.com Inc said
on Tuesday its Echo Show devices could no longer play videos
from YouTube because the site’s parent, Google, stopped
supporting the service.
The spat is the latest in Silicon Valley in which
competitive tensions stood in the way of customers. Amazon and
Google square off in many areas, from cloud computing and online
search, to selling voice-controlled gadgets like the Echo Show.
In a statement, Amazon said, “As of this afternoon, Google
has chosen to no longer make YouTube available on Echo Show,
without explanation and without notification to customers. There
is no technical reason for that decision, which is disappointing
and hurts both of our customers.”
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc, said instead that
the development was no surprise.
“We’ve been in negotiations with Amazon for a long time,
working towards an agreement that provides great experiences for
customers on both platforms,” it said in a statement. “Amazon’s
implementation of YouTube on the Echo Show violates our terms of
service, creating a broken user experience. We hope to be able
to reach an agreement and resolve these issues soon.”
The Echo Show had displayed YouTube videos without integral
features, from video recommendations to channel subscriptions.
Google has been in a similar dispute with Microsoft Corp
in the past.
It was not clear how many customers were affected. Amazon
only started selling the Echo Show in June, which comes with a
touchscreen and responds by voice command.
Amazon’s suite of Echo devices, including the Echo and Echo
Dot, have outsold the voice-controlled Google Home, according to
research firm eMarketer. Amazon has ambitions to make it normal
for people to control computers by voice – and to place orders
for its online retail business by voice, too.
“It’s a bit of a blow to Amazon,” said analyst Jan Dawson of
Jackdaw Research. “YouTube is one of the big video services that
they had in addition to their own. For that to disappear means a
big chunk of the possible video content you could watch on Echo
Show is now gone.”
The Verge, a technology news website, earlier reported the
Among recent tech standoffs, Amazon had stopped selling
Apple Inc’s TV players in 2015 because they did not
support its Prime Video service. The two finally reached an
agreement earlier this year.
“Things get harder for end users because these companies
can’t get along,” Dawson said.
(Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco; Editing by