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'Alexa, play Charlie Bit My Finger.' I can't do that, Dave. No, really

Google and Amazon clash over YouTube on the Echo Show

Google's low-intensity rivalry with Amazon has just escalated. Amazon's Echo Show speaker has been barred from playing YouTube videos.

Google's explanation is that Amazon violated YouTube's Terms of Services, "creating a broken user experience". The two have been in discussions for some time, said Google, but had been unable to reach a deal satisfactory to the Chocolate Factory.

Launched in May, but yet to appear on UK shelves, the Echo Show is among Amazon's burgeoning family of Echo smart speakers, with a 7-inch touchscreen display designed to sit in the corner of the kitchen or living room. It can be lugged from room to room, but doesn't have a built-in battery. All new Echoes feature Amazon's Alexa voice assistant.

The Echo Show had been broadcasting YouTube's ads, but not other service features such as playlists.

Amazon said YouTube was blocked without notice or explanation.

Two years ago, Amazon kicked Google Chromecast and Apple TV gear out of its store, and heavily promotes its own Fire TV kit instead.

Google twice blocked Microsoft from YouTube after Redmond developed an unofficial YouTube client app available for its Windows Phone platform. Microsoft had reverse engineered the YouTube APIs. In this instance Google was morally in the right: the unofficial client stripped the ads from videos. Other developers who had reverse-engineered Google's APIs were unscathed.

On-demand video is one of more than a dozen markets where Google can be described as holding a monopoly. ®

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