SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Another battle of giants: Amazon and Google

Amazon and Google are fighting an increasingly ugly battle that could drag their customers and their future business ...

Posted: Dec 15, 2017 5:36 AM
Updated: Dec 15, 2017 5:36 AM

Amazon and Google are fighting an increasingly ugly battle that could drag their customers and their future business plans down with them.

A brief history: For years, Amazon has refused to let Google Chromecast users access Amazon's Prime Video service. Amazon customers can't buy Chromecast streaming devices or Google Home gadgets on its online marketplace.

Why? Because the Google devices compete with FireTV and Echo, both Amazon products.

Google, in turn, pulled programming from its YouTube out of Amazon's Echo Show in September. Amazon responded by yanking the newest Google Nest gadgets, like smart thermostats, off its site last month.

So Google announced last week that it is taking YouTube off Amazon FireTVs.

A spokeswoman for Google cited a "lack of reciprocity" for pulling YouTube, but the company was hopeful it could ultimately reach an agreement with Amazon.

The wheels appear to be in motion: An Amazon spokeswoman said Thursday that the company would begin selling Chromecast. Google did not immediately respond to CNNMoney's request for comment.

Amazon and Apple were involved in a similar spat, but the companies hugged it out earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Amazon and Google customers are caught in the middle.

These spats are a growing problem in corporate America: The big guys are getting bigger, as antitrust regulators have allowed countless megamergers for decades. Disruptive technology is rapidly upending industries, particularly media and technology. And companies are in a fight for their lives as they navigate the new landscape.

The government is also going to have to come to terms with these issues. It's not clear what the government could do to get Amazon and Google to kiss and make up.

Related: CVS-Aetna deal is a major test for Trump

Antitrust regulators would have to demonstrate that one company is a monopoly abusing its power to exclude the other, according to Michael Carrier, a professor at Rutgers Law School.

That would be tough to prove. Amazon controls 14% of the streaming device market, ahead of Google's 8%, according to comScore. So neither is close to a monopoly.

Even Google, whose YouTube service is certainly the dominant force in the streaming video market, likely wouldn't face a government challenge. Regulators typically allow companies to refuse deals with rivals, Carrier explains.

Notably, an exception to that rule could be when a monopolist does business with a rival but then stops, as Google did to Amazon when it pulled YouTube from FireTVs. But courts have recently been skeptical about those arguments.

Related: The U.S. government's long history of suing AT&T

"Antitrust is usually about the big guy vs. the little guy; this is new -- it's two giants going at it," said Tim Wu, professor of antitrust law at Columbia Law School. "It's not something that is within a traditional regulator's realm."

Just because Amazon and Google can get away with this kind of behavior doesn't mean it's necessarily a wise path. Google and Amazon's spat could have antitrust implications down the road.

Both companies are constantly buying up smaller businesses, and those deals could catch more government scrutiny if this is how they plan on using their power.

"Does this kind of conduct start to become interesting to antitrust people when they review acquisitions? Yeah," Wu said. "Their ability to merge could be compromised in the future."

West Lafayette
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 40°
Kokomo
Clear
42° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 39°
Rensselaer
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Fowler
Clear
44° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 40°
Williamsport
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Crawfordsville
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 42°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 42°
Delphi
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 39°
Monticello
Clear
39° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 39°
Logansport
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 38°
A drier day with sunshine and cool temperatures
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1011197

Reported Deaths: 16524
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1359292129
Lake666181167
Allen58254802
Hamilton46498467
St. Joseph44559617
Elkhart36044510
Vanderburgh32333481
Tippecanoe28037260
Johnson25196446
Hendricks23960360
Porter22985367
Madison18820410
Clark18609253
Vigo17530303
Monroe15319200
LaPorte15230252
Delaware15127264
Howard14801290
Kosciusko12410149
Hancock11773176
Bartholomew11695180
Warrick11305189
Floyd11138215
Wayne11023253
Grant10131220
Morgan9506177
Boone8965116
Dubois8281131
Henry8252153
Dearborn823493
Noble8064106
Marshall7981135
Cass7556123
Lawrence7479172
Shelby7216119
Jackson700990
Gibson6614115
Harrison651892
Huntington6447100
Knox6427106
DeKalb6363100
Montgomery6293112
Miami595298
Putnam584179
Clinton579271
Whitley568455
Steuben566876
Wabash5363104
Jasper536180
Jefferson513297
Ripley501987
Adams483777
Daviess4684115
Scott439875
Greene427296
Clay426960
Wells426088
White420964
Decatur4177104
Fayette407387
Jennings390262
Posey377544
LaGrange361778
Washington360451
Randolph3476100
Spencer340743
Fountain336160
Sullivan330852
Starke319171
Owen315571
Fulton313468
Orange295064
Jay285546
Franklin266443
Perry265752
Rush263832
Carroll262434
Vermillion259854
Parke232029
Pike229643
Tipton229059
Blackford195042
Pulaski184657
Crawford160125
Newton159848
Benton151217
Brown147047
Martin139319
Switzerland135311
Warren121416
Union107216
Ohio84613
Unassigned0544

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events