In what can only be described as a bad move, Amazon has apparently thrown down the gauntlet on Chromecast sales on their US site and only the consumer is going to be hurt. In a letter that was published on Reddit, Amazon has informed sellers that they can no longer create listings for the Chromecast, Nexus Player or Apple TV and have wrapped this in the “to avoid customer confusion” blanket.
In other words, they don’t want competition for their Fire Stick and Amazon Prime services.
In the letter, Amazon states that no new listings for the Chromecast, Nexus Player or Apple TV are being posted and that all posts for these devices will be deleted on October 29th of this year.
Over the last three years, Prime Video has become an important part of Prime. It’s important that the streaming media players we sell interact well with Prime Video in order to avoid customer confusion. Therefore, Amazon has implemented listing restrictions for the followings products:
o Apple TV o Chromecast o Nexus Player
Effective immediately, you may no longer create new listings for these products, and as of 10/29/15, any existing listings for these products will be removed. There will be no adverse impact on your seller account for the removal, but we request that you refrain from relisting removed products.
Roku, XBOX, and PlayStation all interact well with Prime Video and are not affected by this change.
Thank you for selling on Amazon.
Sincerely, Amazon Services
Now before everyone jumps up and down about antitrust violations, that is likely not going to be the case. Amazon is still allowing the sales of Roku, Xbox and Playstation which, in their own words, “interact well with Prime Video”. In other words, if you are competing against our product, we are going to ban it. If Amazon were to kill off all competing devices listings and sales, then you could probably go down the antitrust path. Ultimately this is well within the right of Amazon to do as they try to promote their own solutions and services.
No, pure and simple, this is a stupid move on the part of Amazon. Consumers who want a Chromecast, Nexus Player or Apple TV will simply go to other retailers like Best Buy or even the Google Store or Apple store (online or retail) to go get the device they want. Consumers are not going to throw their hands up and say “Oh well, I guess I’ll get a Fire Stick”. By limiting these sales, Amazon is ultimately only hurting the consumer, especially those who leverage Amazon for other services but want to use Google’s or Apple’s services with them.