Google and Amazon have always had a strained relationship despite Amazon using Google’s Android OS for most of their devices. Both companies are pretty fiercely competing with the other in tons of areas, including cloud server space, digital storefronts, and even hardware at this point.
Amazon’s used its online store to try and indirectly block sales of Google’s streaming hardware by not offering the Chromecast on Amazon’s website. It also doesn’t sell the Google Home, which competes with the Echo, and last month Amazon dropped Nest products as well.
All of that is before we even get to the complicated issue of Amazon inconsistently offering Prime Video to Android devices, despite already having a functioning app that they use for their own Fire brand. It’s been a messy spat, but up until now, Google’s mostly just rolled with the punches.
That “up until now” is the key point here, though. Google has announced that they’ll be pulling YouTube from both the Amazon Echo Show and Fire TV until the two companies can come to an agreement. The Echo Show has already had rocky YouTube support from the get-go due to its implementation that violated Google’s terms of service, but it looks like Google is going to try and strong arm Amazon to get more out of this situation anyway.
Ultimately, the biggest losers in this fight will be customers who just want to watch YouTube on their devices. I can see where Google’s coming from, and if Amazon thinks YouTube is good enough to offer on their devices, they should theoretically be able to offer other Google products, too. But Amazon’s no small company, so this might not look great on Google when customers can no longer access YouTube starting next month. Just because you’re “right” doesn’t mean customers aren’t going to be mad at you, anyway.