Bold move, Amazon.
By the end of the month, the Mall of the Internet will stop selling media-streaming devices from Google and Apple that aren’t easily compatible with its video service, Prime Video. It’s strategically anti-competitive without being legally anti-competitive since people can still buy competitor products at other retail locations, which Amazon has obviously carefully considered.
Amazon says Apple TV and Chromecast don’t “interact well” with Prime, which is obviously not the main reason for the decision. Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, called the explanation “especially weak.”[It’s] a not-so-veiled attempt to favour Amazon first-party products over third-party products, and think it was a bad move.”
Amazon, Apple, Google and Roku devices made up 86 percent of all media-streaming products sold in the United States; only around one in five Amazon customers are Prime members, though the service is still very much in the early stages.
The long-term strategy is to ween people away from Apple and Google’s streaming services and generate more revenue from a loyal Prime base over the next few years than what would have been made from Apple TV and Chromecast sales.
“Amazon probably wants to teach Apple and Google a lesson about not making their devices more compatible,” says Allen Grunes, a lawyer at Konkurrenz Group in Washington.
Apple and Google, for their part, probably do not appreciate being taught lessons by competitors.