Roku Warns Customers May Lose Service Due to Google’s ‘Predatory’ Power

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA - MAY 07: Google CEO Sundar Pichai delivers the keynote address at the 2019 Google I/O conference at Shoreline Amphitheatre on May 07, 2019 in Mountain View, California. The annual Google I/O Conference runs through May 8. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Roku, the manufacturer of popular home entertainment devices, is warning its customers with YouTube TV subscriptions that they could lose access to the service in the coming days due to Google’s “predatory” and “monopoly” behavior.

Deadline reports that Roku device owners with YouTube TV subscriptions are being warned that they may lose access to the service in the coming days. Roku has blamed this on Google’s “monopoly” and “predatory” behavior.

In its statement, Roku blasted Google’s actions in detail, stating that the tech giant is “attempting to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku into accepting predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory terms that will directly harm Roku and our users.” Roku also contacted customers this morning expressing concerns over the issue.

Roku is arguing that YouTube and Google are attempting to manipulate the user experience on Roku devices by siphoning data and manipulating search results in YouTube’s favor. It also alleges that Google could require Roku to spend money upgrading microchips or other equipment in order to accommodate YouTube TV.

The current agreement between the two companies will expire in the next few days. “We believe consumers stand to benefit from Google and Roku reaching a fair agreement that preserves consumers access to YouTube TV, protects user data and promotes a competitive, free and open marketplace,” Roku’s statement concluded. “We are committed to trying to achieve that goal.”

In a statement, YouTube TV said that it is negotiating “in good faith” with Roku to reach a new deal. “Unfortunately, Roku often engages in these types of tactics in their negotiations,” the statement said. “We’re disappointed that they chose to make baseless claims while we continue our ongoing negotiations. All of our work with them has been focused on ensuring a high-quality and consistent experience for our viewers. We have made no requests to access user data or interfere with search results. We hope we can resolve this for the sake of our mutual users.”

Recently, a group of app developers who rely on app distribution from tech giants Apple and Google testified that they are scared of how much power the tech giants have over their businesses.

Match Group Chief Legal Officer Jared Sine told Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), the chair of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust: “We’re all afraid.”

The hearing included representatives from Apple and Google and several of their critics including Match Group which owns the dating app Tinder; Tile which makes small trackers that can be used to find lost objects, and the music streaming service Spotify.

Read more at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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