Amazon to Sell Google Chromecast After Echos Lose YouTube
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. said it will start selling Google Chromecast gadgets again, extending an olive branch after the two internet giants clashed over the availability of their products on each other’s services.
An Amazon spokeswoman said on Thursday the standard Google Chromecast video streaming stick, along with the Ultra model that can stream 4K video, will return to Amazon’s online store.
Amazon began promoting Chromecasts on its website, though they were listed as "currently unavailable" on Thursday afternoon. Amazon also said it would begin selling both Apple TV models, the 2015 model as well as the recent 4K version. Amazon stopped selling Apple TV and Chromecast devices two years ago. The spokeswoman wouldn’t say when sales will start.
The world’s largest online retailer reversed course on Thursday after Google recently blocked YouTube viewing on the Fire TV and Echo Show, two Amazon devices where watching video are popular features.
"We are in productive discussions with Amazon to reach an agreement for the benefit of our mutual customers," a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
When it pulled YouTube, Alphabet Inc.’s Google cited the removal of the Chromecast from Amazon’s website as the reason. It also said Amazon wasn’t selling Google Home connected speakers, had stopped selling some Nest devices and hadn’t made the Amazon Prime Video streaming service available on Chromecasts.
“We’ve been trying to reach agreement with Amazon to give consumers access to each other’s products and services," Google said at the time. Amazon responded by saying Google was "setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”
This is the latest fracas between the world’s largest internet companies. Each began in their own corner of the web, but all have expanded into one another’s turf in recent years. That’s when claims of putting users first are sometimes cast aside in favor of strategy changes that damage rivals and benefit corporate bottom lines.
Access to YouTube on the Echo Show speaker with a screen was blocked Dec. 5, while Google has said it planned to end YouTube support for the Fire TV set-top-box Jan. 1. Google has yet to respond to Amazon resuming Chromecast sales. It’s currently unclear if the change will push Google to resume YouTube support on Amazon’s devices.
Amazon declined to comment on whether it will now sell Google Home speakers and resume sales of new Nest devices along with Chromecast gadgets. CNET reported Amazon’s decision earlier.
The move to resume Apple TV sales follows Amazon launching a version of its Prime Video application for Apple TV users earlier this month.
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