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Google blocks YouTube access from Amazon’s streaming devices

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A 3D-printed YouTube icon is seen in front of a displayed YouTube logo in this illustration taken October 25, 2017. -- REUTERS

ALPHABET, Inc.’s Google pulled support for its YouTube video service from Amazon.com, Inc.’s streaming-media devices, citing the Internet retailer’s failure to make Amazon Prime Video available through Google’s gadgets and the recent halt of the sale of some Nest products on its Web site.

Google blocked YouTube access via the Echo Show, Amazon’s smart speaker with a touchscreen, on Dec. 6 and will stop supporting YouTube on Amazon’s Fire TV set-top box on Jan. 1. In a statement, a Google representative said it’s taking the action because the YouTube apps on Amazon products aren’t made by Google, like the YouTube app on the iPhone is, and the retail giant doesn’t sell some Google products, such as Chromecast and Google Home.

“We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services,” Google said in a statement. In its own statement, Seattle-based Amazon said its gadgets now send users to the YouTube Web site, and the company hopes to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

The rivalry between Google and Amazon has heated up as the search giant and online retailer have moved quickly into hardware and Internet services. In the past few years, both have introduced multiple new home devices, including speakers and home-security products. Both have also been pushing their own video and music-streaming services as well as competing video-control platforms. They also both offer corporate cloud-computing services, a market where Amazon leads by a wide margin.

“Echo Show and Fire TV now display a standard Web view of YouTube.com and point customers directly to YouTube’s existing Web site,” Amazon said in the statement. “Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”

Mountain View, California-based Google isn’t the only competitor that has seen its products blocked from Amazon’s site. After being pulled from the no. 1 e-commerce site in 2015, the Apple TV box reappeared on the retail Web site in September, only to vanish again. Apple Inc., meantime, said Amazon Prime Video would become available as an app for Apple TV by the end of the year, but it hasn’t yet been released. — Bloomberg

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