The battle over streaming media is becoming particularly acrimonious. According to Axios, as the two companies renegotiate their deal, Roku has accused Google of wanting preferential treatment for the YouTube and YouTube TV apps. Roku informed customers via email that Google allegedly wants YouTube to have prominent placement in search results, including a dedicated row.
While using the YouTube app, it also hopes to block results from other providers and prioritize YouTube music results when using the Roku remote for voice commands while YouTube is open, according to Roku.
Roku also claimed that Google threatened to impose chipset and memory requirements for devices, potentially putting Google’s Chromecast at an unfair disadvantage.
Roku’s spokesperson wasn’t shy about implying malicious intent. The representative claimed that Google was abusing its YouTube monopoly to force Roku to accept “predatory, anti-competitive, and discriminatory” terms.
According to the spokesperson, Roku was not asking for a “single additional dollar,” but rather terms that didn’t skew search results, raise costs, or violate industry data practices.
As a result, Roku may be forced to remove YouTube apps, according to the company’s email.
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Roku has previously been involved in tense media negotiations, including a battle with NBCUniversal in late 2020 over terms for carrying Peacock. The allegations against Google, on the other hand, are more serious, and they come at a time when the company is facing multiple antitrust lawsuits. Roku appears to be going public with the dispute in the hopes of securing better terms.