The technology industry in recent years has been shaped by a clash of the titans — Google, Apple, Amazon and one or two other companies, which are increasingly getting into each other’s businesses as software and hardware blend and mix.
The latest evidence of that clash happened Thursday when Amazon declared that it would stop selling the streaming media players made by Apple and Google. With the move, Amazon, which makes its own streaming media devices, was sending a clear message that it would use its retail clout to put its rivals at a disadvantage.
Amazon’s action drew immediate criticism. Wired called Amazon’s wielding of power “gross.” Gizmodo said the move was a “sick burn” of Amazon’s rivals. And Slate wondered whether the use of Amazon’s retail power to help itself over competitors was so blatant that it might trigger regulatory scrutiny.
Amazon was characteristically cryptic about the situation, issuing a statement that 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.”