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You are here: MacNN Forums > News > Mac News > Amazon to sellers: Apple TV, Chromecast no longer welcome

Amazon to sellers: Apple TV, Chromecast no longer welcome
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NewsPoster
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Oct 1, 2015, 02:11 PM
 
Amazon resellers are reportedly receiving an email from Amazon, telling them that video streaming devices that don't support Amazon Prime Video won't be sold on the commerce giant's marketplace. If the reports are accurate, the Apple TV line, as well as Google's Chromecast, will be barred from sale after October 29.

Bloomberg broke the news of the ban. According to the internal Amazon email, "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."

Not affected by the retraction are the Microsoft Xbox, Roku streamers, or Playstation hardware. All three devices have Amazon Prime Video streaming. It is unclear if Amazon is working on an app for Amazon Prime Video streaming for the new Apple TV. MacNN has reached out to marketplace sellers known to carry the Apple TV for confirmation.
( Last edited by NewsPoster; Oct 16, 2015 at 01:58 AM. )
     
d_anders
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Oct 1, 2015, 02:36 PM
 
Not necessarily, folks. This may be applicable to prior generation Apple TVs, but for the new Apple TV it might be just fine.

Amazon has an Amazon Video app for IOS, and I have to imagine porting it over tvOS will be very simplle, and I expect they are working to submit one to Apple to run on Apple TV.

While Apple TV certainly features Apple TV and Movies provided content up front, I fully expect Apple to allow other companies streaming apps to be submitted and be availabile on the App Store.

This is why I'm looking forward to the Apple TV. I want my Xfinity app, and a number of other specialized streaming apps that are already available on iOS and avoid the use of AirPlay mirroring for that sort of thing.
     
chimaera
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Oct 1, 2015, 02:58 PM
 
If true, this is a marketplace abuse. Whether or not the new AppleTV is supported.

Amazon is locking out competing products that do not support Amazon's own service. Amazon is not offering any guarantee to support competitor's streaming services. This is like your cable ISP enforcing a bandwidth cap, to hamstring Netflix/hulu/etc to protect their TV lineup.
     
Mr. Strat
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Oct 1, 2015, 03:25 PM
 
I'm sure the Fire TV is just jumping off the shelves.

     
Grendelmon
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Oct 1, 2015, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by chimaera View Post
If true, this is a marketplace abuse. Whether or not the new AppleTV is supported.

Amazon is locking out competing products that do not support Amazon's own service. Amazon is not offering any guarantee to support competitor's streaming services. This is like your cable ISP enforcing a bandwidth cap, to hamstring Netflix/hulu/etc to protect their TV lineup.
No, it's not. Amazon can sell whatever it wants, and not sell whatever it wants. There is no antitrust oversight for its product selection. Post me a link where you can buy a FireTV from the Apple Store. Seriously. I mean, Apple sells stereos, drones, RC cars, robots, printers, and cameras. Where's the FireTV? Those assholes.
     
chimaera
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Oct 1, 2015, 05:30 PM
 
Apple is the only party that sells from the Apple Store. They choose 3rd party products to stock, or not.

Amazon allows others to sell through the Amazon Marketplace. In this case, Amazon is using their control of the Marketplace to restrict what others can sell. Based on how it will compete with an Amazon service.

If Apple allowed a Marketplace for 3rd party sellers, I would object the same way. Where is that FireTV?

I do agree with you about antitrust oversight though. There doesn't seem to be any here. Yet.
     
DiabloConQueso
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Oct 1, 2015, 05:45 PM
 
Apple does allow a marketplace for 3rd party sellers: their App Store. The only difference is that it's a marketplace for virtual items rather than real-life items.

Apple doesn't allow anyone to sell an app through their marketplace that directly competes with an Apple app. Apple also restricts subscription purchases to 3rd party services and how people can purchase those subscriptions through or outside 3rd party apps sold through the Apple marketplace. In fact, Apple can allow or reject any 3rd party's app for a number of reasons -- one of the major reasons being competition that Apple feels is not welcome.

How is that significantly different from what Amazon is doing?

Would it be illegal for a flea market or swap meet to tell a vendor they can't sell certain items at the flea market?
     
chimaera
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Oct 1, 2015, 05:55 PM
 
Regarding the App Store, I agree that Apple should not restrict 3rd party content based on competition with its' own products. Good catch there.

However, this is about general product sales. And yes, I would disagree with a flea market restricting sales -- if the restrictions are to prevent competition with the market's sponsored products.

The antitrust problem is when a controlling party allows general sales, but restricts competition with its own products. If an uninvolved party ran the market and restricted some products (ebay) there generally isn't an antitrust concern. Because ebay doesn't offer products itself.
     
DiabloConQueso
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Oct 1, 2015, 07:31 PM
 
So what's the difference if Amazon only carried their own brand of things, versus Amazon carrying their own brand of things plus other things, some of which are sold through 3rd parties?

Why can't Amazon say, "No, we will not be the liaison between you and this third party if what you want to buy we don't approve of. Go buy it somewhere else." ?

Becoming accustomed to Amazon selling everything under the sun and arguing that Amazon should be legally forced to sell everything under the sun are two completely different things. If Amazon was one of the only places you could purchase an AppleTV, there might be an argument, but as it stands, no one is going to go without an Apple TV because Amazon stopped selling them, either directly or as a middle-man to 3rd parties.

There really isn't an anti-trust concern here. This has nothing to do with stifling competition in an illegal fashion. Apple does this exact, same thing. So does Microsoft. So does everyone. You can't force an entity to sell something they don't want.

Now, if Amazon was paying other companies to pull Apple TVs from their shelves and instead sell Fire TVs, we might be on to something -- but as it stands today, and with our current understanding of the Sherman Antitrust Act, nothing about this is monopolistic or stifles competition in an illegal way. You might as well sue your local grocery store for refusing to stock a specific brand of beans that they used to stock last month.

Not liking Amazon's actions doesn't mean legal sanctions or punishments need to be levied.
     
Mike Wuerthele
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Oct 1, 2015, 09:25 PM
 
I'm sure Judge Cote will figure out a way to censure Apple somehow about it.
     
Charles Martin
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Oct 1, 2015, 11:14 PM
 
I'm with Mike -- clearly the DOJ need to prosecute Apple over this!
Charles Martin
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Ham Sandwich
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Oct 4, 2015, 10:41 PM
 
Hah! Move over Apple TV - Amazon's 4K Fire TV is here:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U3FPN4U/ref=ods_fs_atfv
  1. 4K Streaming Up to 30 frames per second
  2. Supports H.265 (new Apple TV will be released without H.265 support)
  3. Expandable storage, up to 128 GB (double the new Apple TV) (Prime members: dirt cheap 32 GB microSD for $20)
  4. Quad-core 2 GHz CPU
  5. Bluetooth 4.1 (new Apple TV will have Bluetooth 4.0)
  6. Supports 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi networks (new Apple TV supports 802.11ac)
  7. Voice command (like Siri) included
  8. More games than on Apple TV
  9. Prime members get unlimited access to Prime Video, Cloud Drive, commercial-free music
  10. 1 year limited warranty (Apple TV is only 90 days)

Total cost for Amazon Fire TV:

The same as a new 32 GB Apple TV when it comes out

$99

Amazon Fire TV: I'M SOLD!
     
mindwaves
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Oct 5, 2015, 02:35 AM
 
Pity. I was going to use Amazon to buy my new Apple TV.

I'm going to buy less from Amazon now, but not quitting the site completely. Just ordered a kitchen knife and cutting board from them today.
     
   
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