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Amazon reveal why it won’t sell the Apple TV

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has shed a little light on the online retailer’s decision not to sell the Apple TV.

Speaking at the Recode Code Conference, Bezos said that the company won’t sell a video streaming device without Amazon Prime Video support – but he’s not prepared to sign off an app for the Apple TV store without “acceptable business terms.”

Bezos was vague about what these terms are, exactly, though it’s likely he’s referring to the 30% cut Apple takes from all App Store purchases and iTunes subscriptions. Amazon may be worried that customers signing up directly through the app will be giving away a chunk of profits to a competitor. When pressed, Bezos would only note that “private business discussions should stay private.”

It’s a little odd that Amazon is blaming the business terms of publishing an app to the Apple TV when an Amazon Video app already exists for iOS. Are the terms really that different for the TV, or is Amazon just scared that offering the Apple TV to its customers will directly hurt the sales of its own Fire TV? The company also refuses to sell Google’s competing video streaming products.

Ultimately it’s up to Amazon to develop an app for the Apple TV. It would be easy enough to sidestep Apple’s cut if they really wanted to – after all, the Amazon-owned Audible already prompts users to sign up through a web browser rather than in the app, presumably for this reason. Right now it just seems like an excuse to justify the exclusion of Apple and Google from its retail store.