Amazon blocks sale of Apple TV, Chromecast

Amazon confirmed on Thursday plans to remove the Google Chromecast and Apple TV from its store.

The two TV accessories compete with Amazon’s own Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, and the e-commerce giant claims that “it’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion.”

It is not removing all competitors from the ring, the Xbox One, PS4, and Roku TV remain on the store. Amazon Instant Video was added to Roku quite a long time ago, but has not been added to the Chromecast or Apple TV, despite easily accessible SDKs for both devices.

Not many analysts expected Amazon to go through with the ban, which will affect third-party sellers as well. It is the first time Amazon has issued a site-wide ban on a consumer product that isn’t illegal—showing the tension between the three giants.

Amazon, Google, and Apple were once at peace, each working on its own product. In the past few years however, Google has entered almost every market, Apple is starting to become interested in services, and Amazon wants a permanent spot in your house.

Google and Apple technically could pull Amazon’s app from the iOS and Google Play store, though that might incur the wrath of a lawsuit. We still don’t know for sure if Amazon is legally allowed to pull items from the store that compete with its own products, considering its size and potential for abuse.

The decision may also be reversed through petitions and complaints. The Chromecast was the most popular electronic device on the Amazon store and the Apple TV wasn’t far off. Not having them available is a major issue for both companies, who may lose out on thousands of sales from casual store browsers.

Amazon seems fully committed to the ban, not denying that it banned the two devices.

Prime Instant Video might be worth the ban, but the Chromecast and Apple TV are becoming the premier places to watch TV shows and movies. Not integrating with them could lose Instant Video a few thousand subscribers, who decide Netflix—which works with both devices—is the better choice.

It might also move people to less legal options like Popcorn Time, which has all of the TV shows and movies, doesn’t cost a penny and offers Chromecast support. Netflix has already said that Popcorn Time is the biggest issue for the film industry, and the industry needs to offer quality on all levels to defeat the piracy service.

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