Google Prevents Amazon Echo Show From Accessing YouTube

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Google on Tuesday discontinued YouTube's support for the Echo Show, preventing owners of Amazon's LCD-equipped smart speaker from accessing the most popular video streaming service on the planet, the e-commerce giant confirmed in a statement issued to The Verge. Amazon claims that Google's decision wasn't prompted by any technical reason, deeming it "disappointing" and stating that such a move hurts the customers of both companies. The Alphabet-owned firm later dismissed that sentiment and claimed that the manner in which Amazon integrated YouTube into the Echo Show is a violation of its terms of service, without clarifying on the matter.

Google's argument is somewhat reminiscent to that given by the company four years ago when it prevented Windows Phone devices from accessing YouTube due to Microsoft's implementation of the service, also citing terms of service violations. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant claims that Amazon was aware YouTube support for the Echo Show is set to be discontinued on Tuesday, stating that the two have been negotiating on the matter for a while now but were apparently unable to reach an agreement. Amazon has yet to respond to that rebuttal in any capacity but as things stand right now, owners of the Echo Show seeking to access YouTube through their Alexa-powered speaker are out of options. It's currently unclear whether the latest addition to the Echo product family will be able to access YouTube ever again.

The two Internet giants have been major rivals for a while now, seeking to compete in the growing consumer-oriented AI segment with their smart speakers and digital assistants. Whereas other players in the industry like Microsoft are moving closer to Amazon's ecosystem with the goal of merging their services to a degree, Google showed no signs of adopting such an approach at any point in the future and seemingly isn't considering any kind of partnerships with major rivals. Amazon is still leading the smart speaker market by some margin, according to a number of industry trackers, but Google is now said to be hoping to do a better job at competing with the Seattle-based firm by revising its Google Home lineup and introducing a new revision of its IoT device which is rumored to be advertised as the Google Home Mini.

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