The battle between Roku and Google just got uglier.
Roku – who earlier this week accused Google of imposing “anti-competitive” requirements and “unfair” terms on its YouTube TV and YouTube applications – said on Friday that it had removed ownership of Google YouTube TV from its video streaming platform. after its transfer contract it expired.
Current Roku subscribers will continue to have access to YouTube TV, but new customers will not be able to download the app from their channel store. Google’s main YouTube app is part of a separate distribution deal and is not affected by the YouTube TV blackout.
“We are disappointed that Google has allowed our YouTube TV distribution agreement to expire,”
YouTube TV responded in its blog on Friday that it was “working with Roku to renew” the deal.
“Despite our best efforts to reach an agreement in the best interests of our common customers, Roku terminated our transaction in bad faith during our negotiations,” YouTube TV said. “Unfortunately, Roku has often used this tactic with other streaming providers.”
The company called on Roku not to “remove the YouTube TV app so that existing users can continue to enjoy the service”, adding that in initial calls it “simply” asked to renew its streaming deal, which “is available”. for several years. “
Roku circulated an email to users on Monday, outlining problems it had during negotiations for a YouTube TV contract, hinting that the app could be removed from its service if the dispute is not resolved.
According to Roku, Google’s requests include preferential treatment requests for YouTube TV, as well as its YouTube search app for Roku users. For example, Roku said that as a condition for migrating YouTube TV, Google has asked Roku to create a special YouTube search results line in the Roku Smart TV interface and to give YouTube search results a more prominent place than its competitors, such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Roku, which has 51 million users, noted that a bigger problem in the dispute with Google is the upcoming renewal of the contract with YouTube. The video app, which has more than 2 billion users worldwide, can be used by Google as a trump card to get Roku to adjust to its requirements for its pay-TV service.
Earlier this week, a YouTube TV official responded to Roku’s allegations, calling them “baseless.”
“We work with Roku in good faith to reach an agreement that benefits our viewers and their customers. “Unfortunately, Roku often participates in this type of tactic in his negotiations,” he said.