By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Remember last year when Amazon suddenly de-listed several book publishers because they wouldn’t sign a new deal? Well, they’re at it again, this time with streaming video boxes, chiefly Google’s ChromeCast, Android TV and the Apple TV . The online sales portal removed both models from their extensive ecommerce listings since neither model offers an Amazon streaming app. Even worse, Amazon won’t let third parties sell either device through their portal either, effectively banning the products completely.
“Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, XBOX, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices.” – Amazon Statement
Amazon says that they are seeking to “minimize confusion” since game consoles like the XBox One and Playstation 4 and streaming boxes like the new 4K-capable Roku, and of course Amazon’s own Fire TV will allow for streaming of Amazon Prime Video, while Google Chromecast, Google other streaming product Android TV and Apple TV do not. They don’t want their customers to buy the wrong device, thinking they will be able to stream Amazon Prime and then find out that they can’t and return the devices.
That’s their story and they’re sticking to it. More likely though, I think that Amazon has created apps for both Google and Apple devices, and both companies have dragged their feet in the review and approval process. This may be due to Amazon’s one-touch ordering system that enables users to order online through their Prime video service, and both Google and Apple want a larger piece of the proverbial pie than Amazon wants to give.
This has been a long running feud with both companies, and so Amazon is flexing their considerable eCommerce muscle in an effort to get both tech hardware giants to play ball. That’s what they did last year with Simon and Schuster and other publishers over their eBook pricing, and also leaned on Disney in a price dispute by de-listing pre-orders on several popular DVD titles like Maleficent and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
As we all know, that which gets rewarded, gets repeated. Clearly, Amazon is in the driver’s seat when it comes to the online retail game and any company that doesn’t wish to play by their rules will get some rather bullyish bahavior.
I’m betting what happens is that after some complaining that both Google and Apple will acquiesce and approve whatever Amazon Prime streaming video app that Team Bezos has been trying to get through their process. But if both Apple and Google join forces in a protracted legal battle, this could get pretty ugly. It wouldn’t be the first time.
Hat Tip – Variety