Amazon CEO Bezos Predicts That Amazon & WarnerMedia Will Reach Deal on HBO Max
During the House Judiciary committee hearings with major tech CEOs, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was asked about the company’s on-going dispute with WarnerMedia over HBO Max.
In addition to not having access to HBO Max on Fire TV, those who get HBO through Amazon Prime Video do not get access to HBO Max. And starting on July 31st, when Amazon’s deal with HBO expires, you won’t get access to HBO HBO GO either.
Congressman Jamie Raskin asked, “Is it fair to use your gatekeeper status role in the streaming device market to promote your position as competitor in the video streaming market with respect to content?”
In response, Bezos seems positive about the outcome, while saying he is unfamiliar with the specifics of the negotiation.
“I’m not familiar with the details of that negotiation. As you said, those are underway right now. I predict that the companies will ultimately come to an agreement. I think this is two large companies negotiating an agreement, in normal case of commerce.”
Raskin followed by asking whether this is a broader issue of Amazon using their power to force companies to give content in exchange for carriage on Fire TV devices. There are thousands of much smaller companies who are in an even more disadvantageous position negotiating with you,” said Raskin. “Is it ok to negotiate for financial terms to be part of your Fire TV, but also try extract in that negotiation respect to getting content from them?”
Bezos saw it as part of the commercial terms of a deal: “When two companies are negotiating, you are negotiating not only the money that exchange hands, but also what you are going to get in exchange for that amount of money.”