Roku yanks YouTube TV app from channel store amid Google contract clash

Roku Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google failed to reach a renewal agreement over the distribution of YouTube TV, meaning that the online-cable service will no longer be available in Roku’s channel store.

The companies’ carriage agreement for YouTube TV had been up for renewal, sparking a dispute between Roku ROKU, -3.85% and Google GOOG, -0.81% GOOGL, -1.64% about the new terms. Roku said that Google sought anticompetitive terms and was looking to manipulate search results, while Google said that didn’t seek to interfere with search and that Roku’s claims were “baseless.”

Though new users won’t be able to access the YouTube TV app through Roku, existing users who have the app downloaded will still be able to view the channel, according to a Roku spokesperson.

“We have only asked Google for four simple commitments,” the spokesperson said in a statement Friday after the distribution agreement expired. “First, not to manipulate consumer search results. Second, not to require access to data not available to anyone else. Third, not to leverage their YouTube monopoly to force Roku to accept hardware requirements that would increase consumer costs. Fourth, not to act in a discriminatory and anticompetitive manner against Roku.”

Roku said previously that Google sought specific hardware requirements to stream its content that could have forced Roku to have to raise costs for its streaming devices, whereas Google sells its own streaming hardware that competes with Roku’s. Google also tried to negotiate voice-search terms focused on the core YouTube app, according to Roku, though the agreement up for renewal was for the distribution of YouTube TV, which lets people stream cable channels.

Roku wasn’t seeking additional “financial consideration” through the new agreement, its spokesperson said.

The “YouTube team” published a Friday blog post saying that it has asked Roku to “renew the YouTube TV deal under the existing reasonable terms” and that it was Roku that “chose to use this as an opportunity to renegotiate a separate deal encompassing the YouTube main app, which does not expire until December.”

YouTube further argued that its technical requirements are meant to “ensure a high quality experience on YouTube” and that it has “never, as they have alleged, made any requests to access user data or interfere with search results.”

“Unfortunately, Roku has often engaged in this tactic with other streaming providers,” YouTube said.

Shares of Roku are off 3.4% in Friday trading, while shares of Alphabet are down 1.1%. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.72% slipped 0.6%.