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Roku removes YouTube TV from channel store

Roku removes YouTube TV from channel store

Roku has removed YouTube TV from its channel store.

YouTube TV

Roku has removed the YouTube TV app from its channel store after the two companies failed to come to an agreement over distribution. The removal comes on the heels of Roku's accusations that Google engages in anti-competitive behavior.

Earlier this week, Roku accused Google of anti-competitive behavior, but said it was hopeful to reach a new contract agreement. Google denied Roku's "baseless" allegations. Roku also claimed that this is not the first time Google has abused its market power. Google allegedly forced Roku to add a row of YouTube search results to its universal search UI.

"Google 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. Given antitrust suits against Google," said a Roku spokesperson.

Google painted the removal as a heavy-handed negotiation tactic. "We've been working with Roku to renew our deal to distribute YouTube TV on their devices," the company said in a blog post Friday morning. "Despite our best efforts to come to an agreement in the best interests of our mutual users, Roku terminated our deal in bad faith amidst our negotiation."

Google also claimed that Roku was using the YouTube TV negotiations to renegotiate its deal for the main YouTube app, which doesn't expire until the end of the year.

In its statement, Google also confirmed a detail that was first reported by Protocol earlier this week: One of the points of contention is Google's push to support the open video codec AV1. Roku claimed earlier this week that Google was trying to force the company to raise the prices of Roku streaming devices in order to make its own Chromecast streamer more competitive. In its Friday statement, Google retorted that its push for AV1 was instead about futureproofing hardware for higher video resolutions.

"Our agreements with partners have technical requirements to ensure a high quality experience on YouTube," the company said in its statement. "Roku requested exceptions that would break the YouTube experience and limit our ability to update YouTube in order to fix issues or add new features. For example, by not supporting open-source video codecs, you wouldn't be able to watch YouTube in 4K HDR or 8K even if you bought a Roku device that supports that resolution."

Update: This post was updated with Google's response.

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