Google and Amazon have been feuding since last year. The feud started in September of last year when Google decided to pull Youtube off the Amazon Echo, which the Verge speculated was due to features that it wanted to implement with Youtube not being supported by Amazon.
Amazon clearly did not believe this reasoning, claiming in response that there was “no technical reason” for Google to pull Youtube from the Echo. The article mentioned above also speculated that the reason was because Google was trying to make life difficult for a competitor to its Google Home speaker.
In response, Amazon retaliated by refusing to carry some of Google’s “Nest” products, and also Chromecast and the Google Home speaker. Google responded by pulling support for Youtube from Amazon’s Fire TV.
Now, Google has pulled all its Nest products from Amazon after Amazon apparently backed off on a promise to restart sales of Chromecast:
After weeks of silence, Amazon’s retail team informed Nest employees on a conference call late last year that it would not list any of the newer Nest products recently announced by the company, according to a person familiar with the call. The products in question include the latest Nest thermostat and the Nest Secure home security system, among others.
On that call, says the person, Amazon told Nest that the decision came from the top — and that it had nothing to do with the quality of Nest products, which had great reviews on Amazon. Nest employees who were on the call ended the discussion under the impression that the decision had come from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, although Amazon’s retail team didn’t explicitly say that at any point, according to a person familiar with the call.
As a result of Amazon’s decision, Nest decided to stop selling any of its products through Amazon, meaning the limited number of Nest devices listed on Amazon today are expected to disappear from the site once current inventory is sold out, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Amazon had about two-thirds of the smart speaker market towards end of 2017, but that figure doesn’t reflect the full holiday shopping season, when Google likely gained more market share.
The stakes are huge. Both Amazon and Google are building out a new voice-powered operating system that can control everything in your life — from your lights to your garage door to the music and video you stream. Amazon’s acquisition of Ring will give it a nice boost on the hardware side as it continues to build out Alexa’s AI. Ring was already one of Nest’s biggest competitors. Now it has the nearly-limitless funding needed from Amazon to go after its Google-backed rival.
In addition to ending sales of Nest products, Amazon does not sell other Google hardware like the Google Home Speaker or Pixel smartphone. In a seemingly retaliatory move, Google has blocked its YouTube native app from running on Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show. (Google, for its part, has said the block is because Amazon products violate YouTube’s terms of service.) Amazon will start selling Google’s Chromecast streaming devices soon, which may help ease tensions between the companies and convince YouTube to bring its service back to the Fire TV and Echo Show.