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Why Google and Amazon Are Hypocrites (om.blog) 245

Amazon earlier this month responded to Google's decision to remove YouTube from all Fire TV products and the Echo Show. Google says it's taking this extreme step because of Amazon's recent delisting of new Nest products (like Nest Secure and the E Thermostat) and the company's long-running refusal to sell Chromecast or support Google Cast in any capacity. Veteran journalist Om Malik writes: This smacks of so much hypocrisy that I don't even know where to start. The two public proponents of network neutrality and anything but neutral about each other's services on each other's platforms. They can complain about the cable companies from blocking their content and charging for fast lanes. The irony isn't lost on me even a wee bit. They are locked in a battle to collect as much data about us -- what we shop, what we see, what we do online and they do so under the guise of offering us services that are amazing and wonderful. They don't talk about what they won't do with our data, instead, they bicker and distract. So to think that these purveyors of hyper-capitalism will fight for interests of consumers is not only childish, it is foolish. We as end customers need to figure out who is speaking on our behalf when it comes to the rules of the Internet.
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Why Google and Amazon Are Hypocrites

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  • That's easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:30AM (#55724601)

    We as end customers need to figure out who is speaking on our behalf when it comes to the rules of the Internet.

    Nobody.

    Next question?

    • Next question?

      What is the air velocity of an unladen swallow?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If the device can access the Internet, it can play youtube. Apparently, the Fire is some kind of walled-garden already, so negotiations about what are in or out actually make sense. If Amazon wants youtube in their walled garden, they appease Google. Otherwise, they tear down the walls. They can get youtube either way.

      Amazon's store front doesn't sell everything in the world. There are many products not listed for many reasons. There is no store-provision neutrality law nor even debate on the topic.

  • Not hypocritcal (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tepar ( 87925 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:32AM (#55724615) Homepage

    A good parallel is Uber and Lyft. They both use the same infrastructure (roads). Should they be required to support each other's services? No. They're competitors. Similarly, Google and Amazon use the same infrastructure (the Internet). Net neutrality should allow them to compete on the shared infrastructure, just as others compete on their shared infrastructure.

    • by bigpat ( 158134 )

      A good parallel is Uber and Lyft. They both use the same infrastructure (roads). Should they be required to support each other's services? No. They're competitors. Similarly, Google and Amazon use the same infrastructure (the Internet). Net neutrality should allow them to compete on the shared infrastructure, just as others compete on their shared infrastructure.

      Agreed. There is a difference between a level playing field and having players from the other team on your team.

      That said, yes this sucks for customers and customer choice and is anti-competitive for companies to be using their market position in one area to be restraining other goods and services.

      I would fault both companies... where if Google have not retaliated and acted in the best interest of consumer choice I would have laid the blame squarely on Amazon.

      Another reminder of why it can be bad when comp

    • Re:Not hypocritcal (Score:4, Insightful)

      by novakyu ( 636495 ) <novakyu@novakyu.net> on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:56AM (#55724873) Homepage

      Except one and the same driver can be driving for Lyft and Uber at the same time, choosing the most convenient passenger to pick up (or for that matter, someone can have both Uber and Lyft apps on their phone at the same time).

      What Google and Amazon are doing is anticompetitive. It may not match with your carefully drawn definitions of net neutrality, but what they are doing is anticompetitive (they are leveraging their market power in one market segment to help their product in another segment), which is why to nontechnical people, this seems as wrong as violations of net neutrality principles.

      • iI'd still say that analogy is not quite right though.. while yes with uber and lyft you can install both apps on your phone. It is merely because it is your phone. Uber provides the uber app, Is there a button in that app to show lyft services inside of the uber ap? No, but of course the phone allows you to install either app without issue. That I believe is where the huge life or death difference is between these 2 issues. Your choice of ISP is determined by your location, and obviously not every locati
    • by Kohath ( 38547 )

      Oh no! Car analogies are going autonomous!

      The information superhighway will never be the same.

    • They're competitors. Similarly, Google and Amazon use the same infrastructure (the Internet). Net neutrality should allow them to compete on the shared infrastructure, just as others compete on their shared infrastructure.

      Google is a competitor to the big ISPs via Google Fiber. Google wants neutrality on their networks for its streaming services, but you know it's not going to scratch their backs if they want full and undiscriminated access to their networks.

      • Google is a competitor to the big ISPs via Google Fiber. Google wants neutrality on their networks for its streaming services, but you know it's not going to scratch their backs if they want full and undiscriminated access to their networks.

        Google Fiber serves only a few areas and last I heard had put a halt to its expansion plans.

        Maybe if incumbent ISPs start upcharging for YouTube they will reconsider those plans.

    • This has nothing to do with Net Neutrality and everything to do with actually making a better product. Both make products that have nearly every video content competitor out there. Except for their direct technology competitors. It's the worst kind of vendor lock-in.

      No, compare this to the attack ads or lower-third crawls that your cable/satellite company runs when a local broadcast affiliate or national network wants to raise its rates - they are both being greedy and selfish and making the experience w

  • by king neckbeard ( 1801738 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:36AM (#55724661)

    So to think that these purveyors of hyper-capitalism will fight for interests of consumers is not only childish, it is foolish.

    Who the hell said that? Google and Amazon are acting in their own interest. On net neutrality, their interests align with ours. I'm not sure I'd call it hypocrisy, because the point is the same in both cases: corporations are going to serve their own interests, including when that has a detrimental effect on healthy competition. If you are trusting anyone to do anything else, you are a fool.

  • ... a competitor's web browser when there's no technical reason to do so (that is, it works fine in every other equally capable browser), then that's a serious problem. If they are just not offering any support for its use on another platform, or just not allowing competitors apps on their platform, that's another matter entirely, and I see no problem with that.

    Now near as I figure, Amazon did the latter... and Google responded by doing the former.

    This kind of arms race is just going to fragment th

    • by Unknown User ( 4795349 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:46AM (#55724765)
      None of this has anything to do with Net Neutrality, though, and it's important to make people aware of the fact that whoever wrote the original story has not the slightest clue about net neutrality. It's important, because the enemies of net neutrality are aggressively pushing all kinds of false narratives about it.
    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      AFAIK, they didn't block the web browser, you can still go to youtube.com and watch all the videos (and ads).
      What they blocked was the app, Amazon responded by spoofing a web browser, probably using the same technique as NewPipe, and this is what they blacklisted.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )
        If the app needs to spoof a browser to function, then why don't they just open up the video in a browser window in the first place? Seems like a whole lot less work, to say the least.
    • This kind of arms race is just going to fragment the 'net, and the consumers like you and me are going to the losers.

      No, consumers like you are going to be a loser.

      If I don't like it, I don't buy it. Just because you're a moron and fail at your own attempts to vote with your wallet doesn't mean I made the same mistakes.

      • by mark-t ( 151149 )

        I was referring to consumers of internet service in general, not the consumers of products that might be pushed upon them.

        Of course, if you are suggesting that you are intending to go without using the internet at all, then, well.... to each their own, I suppose.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:40AM (#55724707)

    YouTube on some Amazon gadget or Amazon selling some Google toy is two kids petty bickering I can easily ignore.

    Net neutrality is something that WILL affect me, no matter how hard I try to ignore it being eliminated.

    This smells of a rather desperate attempt to shill, after all sensible arguments have been gone for a long, long time, so what's left is whataboutism and deflection.

  • by Clarence Rutherford ( 5185079 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @11:49AM (#55724799)
    His complaint is valid and very much a concern but it is irrelevant to the companies position on net neutrality. This is an example of the behavior you should expect from the big providers one NN has been killed and it argues against killing NN but google's & amazon's opinion on NN is not germane to the subject
  • Consumers are EASILY distracted by marketing.
    Of course it's NOT to the end users' benefit that you can't watch Youtube on your Echo and you can't listen to Amazon Music on your Google home.

    BUT with a general purpose computer you can still listen to both.

    The big telecoms want to TAKE AWAY rules protecting your freedom to use a general purpose computer to access whatever content you want at the same cost to download or upload each bit of data from your ISP no matter which service you decide to use;

  • by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday December 12, 2017 @12:12PM (#55725033)
    I don't have to buy Amazon products to use their services. Shopping and viewing shows from any modern computing device is still possible. I don't have to buy into Amazon gadgets to use their service.

    The same cannot be said if, for example, my ISP decided that access to YouTube is not part of my internet channel package, and I have to pay $30/mo more for the privilege.
  • There's no comparison between two internet based corporate giants throwing hissy-fits at each other and net neutrality. This is a moronic comparison. Yes, there are similarities, but to derive that either company endorsing Net Neutrality is a farce due to this scuffle is just stupid. Net neutrality is an issue because private companies hold the reins to the internet (when they shouldn't) and our pro-corporate America government wants to take away the existing blinders that prevent these companies from pran
  • If Amazon won't sell competing products in their store, then why do they sell iPads? Those compete against the Amazon Fire tablets, right? Amazon is full of hypocrisy.

  • The analogy is stupid, badly thought out, and has no place to be compared to Net Neutrality.
    Doesn't matter if the companies are fighting, you can get a Roku stick, an Apple TV, Hulu, stick to a tabletop HTPC or whatever if you don't like what Google and Amazon are offering.
    This is about ISPs treating data equally without distinguishing it, not about what corporations choose to offer in their own proprietary devices.

    How can people still be this stupid on this issue after how long we have been discussing this

  • They are providing a really valuable, real life example of why net neutrality is important: because otherwise we will get shit like this Google-Amazon cat fight where the only ones that really lose are the customers.

  • Bezos is an apex predator, who has never even pretended to not be an ignore-what-I-say planet-destroying hypocrite where his business interests were concerned. To some degree, Google really has to fight fire with fire here. I remain a long ways away from tarring Google and Amazon with the same brush.

    Check out The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (2013). Captures the general tone of the organization brilliantly.

    Amazon just removed encryption from its tablet devices [dailydot.com] — March 2016

    Robin

  • Hypocrites or not, this is a good example of what will happen when the telecom companies, which have a de-facto monopoly in a specific area due to infrastructure costs, have the ability to charge differently and throttle the traffic going through the 50Mbps pipe I paid for based upon where that traffic originated.

  • The poster is trying to conflate the Amazon Google battle with net neutrality in an attempt to cast them as hypocrites. I wonder did AT&T/Verizon lobby arm create this post?

    This has nothing at all to do with net neutrality. What this is about is Amazon's starting a war with Google by blocking the sale of Google's products in favor of their own products and as a result Google has responded in kind after two years of doing nothing. I remember two years ago when Amazon pulled Google Chromcast from t

  • Personally I would much rather have mega corporations fighting each other than duopolies colluding.

  • Amazon may have as well, but YouTube has definitely passed its "Best Used By" date. Now they're all about bringing in that ad revenue, including extending the middle finger to longtime contributors simply because the advertisers would prefer to go in another direction. The sooner they fade into irrelevance (I don't think they'll die any time soon), the sooner we'll have to come up with an alternative or three.

    YouTube should die in a Fire(TV).

  • That I can't help but know that it's a bad thing.
  • It seems to me that there's a difference between:
    "I'm not going to support my competitor's products"
    and
    "I don't want a random third party fucking up my business."

    If Google was complaining about net neutrality while simultaneously blocking their services from Comcast customers (as a competitor to its Fiber brand) then they would be hypocritical. Fighting with your competitor in an unrelated market is not. At least not by any definition I've ever heard.

    Of course words don't mean anything anymore in our curr

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