Amazon will not stock new products from Googleai??i??s Nest unit, including a new Nest thermostat and a home security system. Nest, in response, will stop selling through Amazon altogether.
According to Business Insider, which broke the news, Nest employees who got the news on a conference call from Amazon were ai???under the impression that the decision had come from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos,ai??? though that impression hasnai??i??t been confirmed.
The decision comes as the two tech behemoths compete for control of connected home devices. Amazonai??i??s Alexa has taken a decisive lead as a control hub for everything from lights to televisions. And this week, Amazon announced it was acquiring Ring, which makes a home security system that would compete directly with Nestai??i??s.
A major question hanging over Amazonai??i??s decision is whether it violates antitrust rules. Thereai??i??s little chance of action under the anti-regulation Trump administration, and one legal expert told BI Amazonai??i??s move was ai???probably not illegal.ai??? But Amazonai??i??s use of its retail reach to stifle competition in a mostly unrelated business seems at the very least ethically dubious ai??i?? and without a doubt harmful to consumers.
Google, though, has hardly kept its nose clean in the battle between the two giants. It recently stopped the YouTube app from running on some Amazon devices, a move made in response to prior Amazon decisions not to carry other Google devices.