Roku may lose YouTube TV app over Google’s ‘anti-competitive’ lawsuits

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Roku Inc. warned on Monday that users of its streaming products may lose access to the YouTube TV app due to a breakdown in negotiations with Alphabet Inc.’s Google. The maker of streaming devices and software alleges that Alphabet’s GOOG, + 0.69% GOOGL, + 0.73% Google “is trying to use its YouTube monopoly position to force Roku ROKU, + 0.76% to accept predatory, anti-competitive and discriminatory terms” through its negotiations around the YouTube TV application, a spokesperson told MarketWatch.

“Roku is not asking Google for a single additional dollar in value,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We simply cannot accept terms that would manipulate consumer search results, inflate the cost of our products, and violate established industry data practices.” Roku also provided an update to users of its streaming platform in an email Monday morning, warning that “Google may take away access to the YouTube TV channel on Roku.” While the current negotiations concern YouTube TV, a virtual cable service, and not the traditional YouTube app, Google is trying to stick to the terms of the YouTube TV deal that would benefit YouTube, according to Roku, who said that Google wants it to be accessible to consumers. Triggering a voice search from the YouTube app only shows YouTube results rather than a larger set of results that Roku says may be more relevant to your query. Roku also said that Google may attempt to tie the terms around the hardware specifications that Roku would have to use to allow access to Google’s streaming services. Roku says it could be a strategy aimed at forcing Roku to increase the costs of its streaming hardware. Google also has a business that sells streaming devices. Google did not respond to a MarketWatch request for comment. YouTube TV’s contract will be renewed in the new days, according to Roku. Roku shares have rallied 8.0% year-to-date, while Alphbaet shares are up 32.2% and the S&P 500 SPX Index + 0.14% has gained 11.5 %.