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Is Amazon’s Relationship with HBO Max Fractured?

Jeff Kotuby

Two titans of the streaming industry are seemingly at odds — and we’re not talking Godzilla and King Kong, either.

A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted Amazon’s sometimes-contentious relationships with its vendors, reporting that Amazon threatened certain companies with expulsion from its platform if they didn’t comply with certain requests. One company even alleged that Amazon would pull its product from the site if the company didn’t provide voice usage data to Amazon.

This preceded a report of further tension between Amazon and WarnerMedia, HBO Max’s parent company. Earlier this year, HBO Max announced it was leaving Amazon’s Prime Video Channels service, which housed HBO’s former app for years. The deal was contingent on HBO Max not just being available on Amazon Prime Video Channels, but on Amazon Fire TV devices as well.

In order to make both sides happy, HBO continued its agreement to use Amazon’s Web Services (AWS,) so there’s still some sort of relationship between the two companies. Though, according to the WSJ report, HBO Max execs complained about Amazon’s behavior during the negotiations to the House Antitrust Subcommittee investigating Amazon’s business practices. Could that ripple start to tear apart Amazon and WarnerMedia?

This isn’t even the first time Amazon’s had it out with a leader in the streaming industry. Its Fire TV platform still doesn’t have a Peacock app, and it doesn’t look like there will be one anytime soon. Peacock urged its fans who use Fire TV to side-load a Peacock app onto their devices since there isn’t a dedicated app available on Amazon’s official store. Although Comcast CEO Brian Roberts believes there will be a dedicated Peacock app on Fire TV devices, if it hasn’t happened by now, when will it happen?

For the moment, you can still download HBO Max onto your Fire TV devices and sign-up for it through Amazon Prime Video Channels. The latter will change before the end of the year — and the former might if things continue to get worse between Amazon and WarnerMedia.

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