When Amazon pulled the Google Chromecast and Apple TV streaming hardware from their storefronts back in October, it set the tech world on fire. While Amazon didn’t give an official reason for doing so, most people assumed that it was a competition thing; both of those were in direct competition with Amazon’s Fire TV products, the target audience of which shops on Amazon. Thus, it would only make sense to stop offering those two products. The action didn’t break any applicable laws concerning anti-competitive behavior, after all; Amazon’s storefront is Amazon’s storefront, and they can sell whatever they’d like. According to CEO Jeff Bezos, however, there is a deeper reason for the discontinuation of sale of those two products on Amazon, and he would have been willing to offer them, under certain terms.
At the Code Conference on Tuesday, Bezos was interviewed by a member of Recode’s staff. Inevitably, the question of the Chromecast and Apple TV came up. When it did, Bezos said that “Private business discussions should stay private,” but did let everybody in on just a bit of why the deal fell through. According to Bezos, the company simply wanted their Prime Video Player to be a pack-in app on units sold through Amazon, calling it “acceptable business terms”. When Google and Apple refused to play ball, he simply pulled their products. Interestingly, he claimed to not know whether or not Amazon was still selling the Apple TV, but spoke boldly of the Chromecast saying its goodbyes to Amazon. Apple TV is, of course, not available on Amazon.
He went on to say that, of course, you could always simply install Amazon Prime Video on the streaming hardware, but that this would not constitute “acceptable business terms”. One interesting thing to note, however, is that, at least for Chromecast, including Amazon’s Prime Video service would have required some major tweaking. Chromecast has no content storage of its own, as it were – everything a Chromecast displays is beamed to it from an Android device or a Chrome window on a PC. Thus, it’s a bit of a mystery what Bezos’ intentions may have been with getting Prime Video onto all Chromecasts sold on Amazon.