YouTube Pulled From Amazon Gadgets

John Lister's picture

Users of some Amazon gadgets will have to look elsewhere for YouTube videos, after Google announced it will block the site from the devices. It's a tit-for-tat response to Amazon refusing to stock some Google hardware products.

YouTube will be blocked from January 1st, 2018 on Amazon Fire TV devices, which include both table-top boxes and HDMI sticks. There's also an immediate block on YouTube on the Echo Show, which is a variant of the 'smart speaker' range that includes a screen.

Google had already blocked YouTube on the Echo Show once but Amazon found a workaround. That workaround has now been made unworkable by Google.

Google Peeved By Amazon Sales Decisions

There's no secret as to why Google is making the move. It openly said it is because "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." (Source:

It went on to say that the YouTube block is happening "given this lack of reciprocity." That certainly implies it would be prepared to reinstate YouTube access if Amazon started selling its products.

It's notable that Google's statement covers two separate issues: what hardware products Amazon does or doesn't choose to stock (including blocking third parties from selling some Google devices via the Amazon marketplace), and which software apps work on which devices.

Amazon and Apple Had Also Feuded

It's unfortunate timing for Amazon, which has only just reached an agreement with Apple to have the Amazon Prime Video service available on Apple TV, another streaming video gadget that had been caught up in battles between tech giants.

Who's legally in the right is a grey area. Google insists that with the Echo Show issue, Amazon has breached the rules of using YouTube by adding support for voice controls. With the Fire TV devices, Google isn't saying Amazon has breached any rules. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Is one side in the right in this dispute? Is there any moral or ethical difference between Amazon merely choosing to not sell Google gadgets itself and banning third-party sellers from doing so on the site? Should competition laws be tougher to block disputes such as this from harming consumer choice?

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gmthomas44_4203's picture

Who gives a crap? Besides I don't get between two ugly gorillas in a fight! Consumers will decide on their own.

f58tammy's picture

Just wait until next year it won't be Google or Amazon that is going to control your streaming choices. Instead it will be your ISP and how much ransom your willing to pay in order to enjoy the streaming content of your choosing. With the lost of Net-Neutrality you will start seeing the ISP's charging you monthly fees for access to particular websites and streaming services, and since they will have complete control of your internet access they will also be able to increase the cost of your cable packages knowing that cord cutting will no longer be a viable option.