In an aggressive move sure to roil the streaming device market, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) has instructed its sellers to cease the peddling of Apple TV (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Chromecast (NASDAQ: GOOG) streaming devices.
"Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime," Amazon said in the e-mail to its sellers. "It's important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion."
Not impacted by the ban is the Amazon Fire TV stick, a streaming dongle that ranks as Amazon's best-selling electronics device. Also still for sale on Amazon is Roku, which ranks as the top-selling streaming device maker in the U.S. The Xbox One and Sony PlayStation 4, game consoles that are also popular streaming devices, also remain on sale with the e-commerce giant.
"Amazon probably wants to teach Apple and Google a lesson about not making their devices more compatible" with its Prime Video service, said Allen Grunes, a lawyer at Konkurrenz Group in Washington, to Bloomberg. "This is one way to do it, and it's not likely anticompetitive."
It doesn't violate antitrust laws, Grunes added, because consumers have plenty of other places to buy Apple TV and Chromecast.
The developing streaming device market is one the pay-TV industry is watching closely as more and more of its services enter the authenticated multiscreen realm.
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