No one is snapping back at big tech and media companies quite like Roku right now. After making headlines last year over their ongoing dispute with HBO Max, the media platform was once again in the news after it called out Google for “predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory” practices before ultimately making the call to pull the YouTube app from their service this past April. Now, the battle appears to be getting even uglier.
In their latest blog post, Roku is once again calling out Google for being, in short, a pretty damn merciless tech giant that is “under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice and more than 30 State Attorneys General for violating competition laws.” Roku says doing business with ” an enterprise as powerful as Google” has created complex problems that have ultimately resulted in the two companies reaching and impasse. However, Roku insists their grievances have nothing to do with money.
According to Roku, the company has not asked for any changes to be made in terms of finances. The media platform says they are content with not earning “a single dollar from YouTube’s ad-supported video sharing service” while Google makes “hundreds of millions of dollars” from being featured on Roku. Instead, Roku said they are concerned with how Google continuously infringes upon their independence in a “disturbing trend that threatens the vibrant and competitive TV streaming ecosystem.”
”There are two primary concerns we are working to address: First, Google continues to interfere with Roku’s independent search results, requiring that we preference YouTube over other content providers. This is a concern shared by many companies who believe that customers deserve neutral and relevant results to their search queries. Second, Google discriminates against Roku by demanding search, voice, and data features that they do not insist on from other streaming platforms.”
Roku says that while they are “working to resolve” their differences with Google, there’s still a strong possibility Google may remove YouTubeTV from the Roku platform when their current distribution deal is up on December 9. If that’s the case, all newly manufactured Roku smart-TVs and devices will not be able to install the YouTube app. As of right now the two tech companies still have a little over a month left to try to reach some form of an agreement, so here’s hoping something gives and Roku-users will still be able to watch all their favorite funny animal compilations as we enter the new year.