Amazon Fires at Apple, Google: Bans Apple TV and Chromecast Sales
Online retailer Amazon has taken aim at Apple and Google in an attempt to boost its Amazon Prime streaming video service, but all its done so far it give itself a black eye.
News broke yesterday that Amazon had notified its marketplace sellers that it will stop selling the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, with no new listings allowed and all current inventory removed by October 29.
Amazon's reason is that those two devices don't support Amazon Prime. Devices that do, including Roku boxes and Xbox and PlayStation gaming consoles—will still be sold.
The move comes at a critical time, since both devices have received major updates in the past month and the holiday shopping season is about to begin.
Amazon's power play is playing badly in the press. Wired, for example, called the move "gross." Bloomberg News quoted Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter saying, the move "sends the wrong signal to consumers." The New York Times quoted eMarketer analyst Paul Verna saying, "It really just hurts the consumers and creates confusion."
However, the move is likely less about banning competitive products than forcing a spot on those products. If Apple TV and Chromecast supported Amazon Prime, they'd be allowed. The question now is will Apple and Google developers add Prime support, and, if so, how quickly can they get in in place?
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