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Google Chromecast returns to Amazon just in time for the holiday shopping crunch

Chromecast 3rd Gen
Dan Baker/Digital Trends

Well, lookee what we have here. Could it be that the decidedly frosty relationship between Google and Amazon has begun to thaw? Given that Google’s Chromecast, which for years has been persona non grata on the online retail giant’s website, is now once again available for purchase there, we’d say we’re looking at a warming trend. Both the 3rd generation and the Ultra edition of the Chromecast have been spotted on Amazon.

You may not have noticed, but if you had tried to buy one of Google’s diminutive streamers from Amazon at any point since late 2015, you’d have been out of luck. The decision to not stock Chromecast was one part of an ongoing conflict between the two mighty tech giants that also saw Google yank YouTube from the Amazon Fire TV and Echo Show. Amazon retaliated by banning even more Google products, like Nest. Needless to say, like a nasty fight between parents, it’s been the kids (consumers) who have paid the highest price for the feud.

We can’t help but raise a very suspicious eyebrow at the timing of this partial truce. With the holiday shopping season in full-on beast mode, it’s hard to believe that either company wants to forgo possible revenues. Though streaming players like the Chromecast may not be massive profit drivers on their own, the long-term relationships they create with consumers are the stuff that balance sheets are made of. You’re far more likely to buy a YouTube Premium subscription, or rent movies from Google Play, if you own a Chromecast. So you can bet that Google has every incentive to play nicely with Amazon for the sake of the sign-ups it hopes to receive starting on December 25.

Amazon might not make a whole lotta coin on the sale of these gadgets either, but if it turns out to be the goodwill gesture that finally gets Google to support Amazon Video, it will pay off handsomely for Bezos and friends, too.

Let’s hope that both of these corporate behemoths can come to terms, even if it’s only through a mutual desire to make more money. At least then, consumers will be able to pick the device they like best, and still have access to the full gamut of streaming services. Or, you know, we could just buy a Roku.

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Simon Cohen
Contributing Editor, A/V
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