Amazon alleges some TV vendors are not partnering over fear of retaliation from Google • TechCrunch

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Amazon says more than a dozen device vendors have indicated they cannot enter into a TV manufacturing relationship with the e-commerce group for fear of Google retaliation, escalating tension with the search giant with which it competes in several companies.

The disclosure, which Amazon has officially shared for the first time, was made by the company’s India unit to the Competition Commission of India as part of a years-old antitrust investigation into Google over allegations that it abuses Android’s dominant position. The Google Abusing his dominant position in AndroidOn Thursday, the organizer said in a statement, A $162 million fine was imposed on Thursday.

As part of the investigation, the Indian Competition Commission has interviewed several players in the industry including Samsung, Microsoft and Mozilla. But no one talks quite as freely as Amazon, a quick analysis of Ranking 293 pages Posted on Friday and showed.

Here’s what Amazon told CCI:

Amazon has explored working with mobile OEM/ODM/CMs who also manufacture non-portable smart media devices, such as smart TVs, to enable these manufacturers to distribute non-portable smart media devices (including smart TVs) running Fire OS (For example, Fire TV Edition (FTVE) for Smart TVs). In these discussions with OEMs, at least seven OEMs indicated that their ability to enter into such a manufacturing relationship with Amazon is either prohibited outright or significantly limited (eg, in terms of geographic scope) by Their contractual obligations to Google and the concern that Google will retaliate against other OEMs that produce Android devices.

Amazon claimed that in “several cases” the device manufacturer indicated that it could not work with Amazon “despite its stated desire to do so with respect to Smart TVs”. Amazon said that even if manufacturers agreed not to work on Android smart TVs, they still had concerns that by working with Amazon on Fire OS TVs, they might still risk licensing their Google GMS to carriers. other.

In addition, companies such as Foxconn and Panasonic have tried and failed to get permission from Google to work with Amazon, the e-commerce giant said.

In other cases, the OEM has tried and failed to obtain “permission” from Google. For example, I have had such discussions with Skyworth, TPV (in relation to the Philips brand), UMC (in relation to the Sharp brand), Foxconn (in relation to the Sharp brand), and Panasonic. Panasonic has also shared concerns about possible retaliation by Google against its car and airline companies if it continues to install FTVE on smart TVs.

In a string of other accusations, Amazon also said smartphone sellers told the company that their terms with Google required them to pre-install Google Chrome on their mobile devices and shorten the phone’s browser to display on the device’s home screen in a move that hurt the growth of Amazon’s browser, Silk.

This affected the adoption of Amazon Silk because Amazon research at the time showed that the default browser was being used by 58% of users, leaving Amazon Silk to compete with other web browsers such as Opera, Firefox and UC for a minority of users who do not use the default browser.

Another potential barrier to distribution was the demand from OEMs that Amazon pay large sums for pre-installation on the device, but even with payment, OEMs would make no guarantees regarding app status or willingness to abandon Chrome as the default browser. Browser (which requires them to remove the Google Play Store and other Google apps).

(On a side note, Amazon said it has explored distribution deals with Reliance Jio, Micromax, and Intel, something that was not previously known, but discussions did not materialize into tangible success for Silk.)

Amazon, which operates the Fire Android operating system that ships barebones from any popular Google mobile service, has been evaluating internally whether to license Android and GMS “due to obstacles created by the lack of GMS,” But it decided not to do so “because it would be a ‘one-way door’ and result in ceding too much control to Google over current and future Amazon devices,” the company told the regulator.

(more to follow)

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