Amazon slaps ban on Apple TV, Chromecast hardware

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(Image: Google)

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2 October 2015 | 0

E-commerce giant Amazon will not only not sell the Apple TV and Google Chromecast, it has banned its marketplace sellers from offering those devices for sale, too.

As first reported in Bloomberg, Amazon sent its marketplace partners an e-mail justifying the ban because it claims those devices don’t do a good job of supporting Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service, and that the company is concerned its Prime customers will become confused as to why its services don’t work well on those devices.

A spokesperson for Amazon said: “Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Roku, Xbox, PlayStation and Fire TV are excellent choices.”

Why this matters: The Fire TV (and Fire TV Stick) are Amazon’s own products of course. So is this just a matter of a big manufacturer putting its thumb on the commerce scales to boost sales of its products and suppress those of its competitors?

It would be easy to say so because of Amazon’s out-sized retail presence. But times have changed. In the old days, manufacturers built things and retailers sold things. These days, it’s not uncommon for one company to build a product, distribute the product through independent retailers, and sell that product in its own stores. Apple does it. Amazon does it. Google does it. They all sell third party products, too, but you won’t find a Chromecast in an Apple store and you can’t buy an Apple TV in the Google Play store.

IDG News Service

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