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Google Restricts Android TV Licensees From Also Using Amazon Fire TV: Report

Google's Android TV UI (Image credit: Google)

Google restricts TV manufacturers and pay TV operators who license its Android TV streaming platform from also using Amazon’s Fire TV ecosystem in the devices they sell.

This comes from a report in the new publication Protocol headlined, “How Google kneecapped Amazon’s smart TV efforts.”

"They cannot do Android TV and Fire TV simultaneously," an unnamed “senior employee of a major TV manufacturer,” told the publication.

Also read: Google Developing Android TV-based Chromecast with Its Own Remote: Report

Google has deals with six of the top 10 smart TV manufacturers to integrate Android TV into their sets. Google also has Android TV arrangements with more than 140 pay TV operators, who are integrating the platform into their next-generation set-tops.

Violating the so-called “Android Compatibility Commitment” contract could result in a licensor being unable to integrate the Google Play Store, as well as Google Assistant, into their devices. These are the key benefits for licensing Android TV in the first place. 

The source described the arrangement as being “completely unique” in the OTT software business. 

As Protocol noted, Google and Amazon have one of the most contentious relationships in the Big Tech realm. 

"What keeps us awake at night is Amazon," said Google’s Android TV chief, Shalini Govil-Pai, in a recent interview.

Amazon Fire TV is the leading OTT device ecosystem globally, counting 40 million users. And its second only to Roku in U.S. usage. But its global leadership position isn’t reflected in smart TV software integration, where Roku, Amazon and Google are competing for domination. 

Daniel Frankel
Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!