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Google blocks YouTube on Amazon devices

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KATHMANDU — Google is pulling its popular YouTube video streaming from Amazon’s Fire TV and Echo Show devices in an escalating feud that has caught consumers in the crossfire.

The internet search giant, owned by Alphabet, said on Tuesday that the decision to block YouTube from Fire TV and Echo Show was due to a ‘lack of reciprocity’ from Amazon, and followed failed attempts to reach an agreement over mutual access to products and services for customers of both companies.

Experts say the steps mark an escalation of a business row in which consumers have been caught up in the fallout. Previously, Amazon had stopped selling several of Google’s hardware products.

Amazon and Google square off in many areas, from cloud computing and online search, to selling voice-controlled gadgets like the Google Home and Amazon Echo Show.

Amazon`s suite of voice-controlled devices has outsold Google`s so far, according to a study by research firm eMarketer from earlier this year.

In a statement, Google said, “Amazon doesn’t carry Google products like Chromecast and Google Home, doesn’t make (its) Prime Video available for Google Cast users, and last month stopped selling some of (our sister company) latest products.”

“Given this lack of reciprocity, we are no longer supporting YouTube on Echo Show and Fire TV,” Google said. “We hope we can reach an agreement to resolve these issues soon.”

Amazon,since 2015, has refused to sell Google’s Chromecast video and audio-streaming dongles.

Amazon said in a statement, “Google is setting a disappointing precedent by selectively blocking customer access to an open website.”

It said it hoped to resolve the issue with Google as soon as possible but customers could access YouTube through the internet — not an app — on the devices in the meantime.

Amazon had explained the move by saying it wanted to avoid confusing customers who might expect its Prime Video service to be available on devices sold by Amazon.

Amazon and Apple mended ties earlier this year when it was announced Prime Video would come to Apple TV. Not so with Google.

Agencies

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South Korean company selected for Kathmandu-Terai fast track DPR

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KATHMANDU — A South Korean Consultancy Company has been selected to prepare the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Kathmandu-Terai Fast-Track project — a national pride and strategic importance mega project.

The Nepal Army (NA) had earlier assigned an Indian company named IL and FS but it did not agree with the cost of the report prepared by the Indian company.

Hence, the South Korean company, Soosung, has been assigned to prepare the DPR for the 76-kilometer fast-track highway project.

The Project Chief and Major General Yogendra Bahadur Khand shared that construction agreement would be made between the South Korean company chosen to prepare DPR for the estimated Rs 111 billion-project and the NA by the end of September.

The preparation cost of DPR as demanded by the Indian company was Rs 510 million higher than what it has been agreed with the South Korean company – at Rs 100.15 million, informed Project Chief Khand.

The South Korean company is committed to prepare DPR within four months of the purchase agreement with the NA.

It has been 13 months since the NA was entrusted with the responsibility to manage the construction of the Fast-Track.

The NA has been carrying on the basic and preliminary works relating to the Fast-Track based on the feasibility study conducted by the Asian Development Bank in 2008.

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