Exclusive: Instacart Cuts Staff, Curbs Hiring in Run-up to IPORead Now

Alphabet and Google chief Sundar Pichai. Photo by Bloomberg

The Briefing: Roku Goes Up Against Google

Photo: Alphabet and Google chief Sundar Pichai. Photo by Bloomberg

If there ever was a time when small companies feared going public with their complaints about big tech, that time has passed. We saw that last week when Spotify and Tile complained to Congress about how Apple wields its power. And it was demonstrated again today when Roku sent a note to customers informing them that they might lose access to YouTube TV, Google’s $65 a month streaming package of cable channels, because Google was misusing its “monopoly power” and trying to impose “unfair terms” on Roku. In revenue terms, Roku is 1% of Google’s size, making this a mouse vs. elephant battle.

For all that, it’s not immediately obvious that this is an example of a big tech company trying to squeeze the life out of a tiny one. Despite its size, Google stands to lose far more if YouTube TV disappears from Roku. YouTube TV had three million subscribers last time Google disclosed the figure. Roku, on the other hand, had 51 million active accounts at the end of December. Roku could drop YouTube TV and not blink. Google, on the other hand, would lose access to one of the main conduits for streaming video. YouTube TV is effectively a mirror of similar services such as Hulu with Live TV or even old-fashioned cable. Losing distribution on Roku would be a big problem.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
Exclusive startups
Instacart Cuts Staff, Curbs Hiring in Run-up to IPO
Instacart CEO Fidji Simo. Photo by Bloomberg.
Instacart has been letting go of staff, slowing hiring and curbing other expenses as it heads toward a public listing, when the grocery-delivery company will try to convince public investors that it can maintain its growth—and make a profit—as the economy slows. The San Francisco startup over the last two months has fired some of its more than 3,000 workers after holding midyear...
Latest Briefs
Twitch’s Creators Chief Departs Amid Payout Cutbacks
Amazon Informs Employees It Miscalculated Raises
Google CEO Addresses Employee Questions about Cost-Cutting
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Data Point startups venture capital
Venture Firms’ $290 Billion ‘Dry Powder’ is About to Revive Startup Funding
Startup founders should expect a tidal wave of venture capital interest next year as a record level of dry powder pressures VC funds to step up their investment pace, according to a new analysis of these cash reserves.
Exclusive amazon entertainment
Netflix’s New Ad Chief Has an Appetite for Danger
Before Netflix hired Jeremi Gorman as its new advertising chief to bring growth back to its struggling business, Gorman had compiled a colorful résumé of professional and personal accomplishments.
Patrick Collison. Photo by Getty Images.
Exclusive startups venture capital
Stripe’s Early Stock Awards Could Spur IPO Plans
Stripe founders John and Patrick Collison have indicated the payments software pioneer, valued in its last fundraising at $95 billion, is in no rush to go public.
Art by Mike Sullivan
True Value google amazon
The Haziness in Microsoft’s Cloud Numbers
Here’s a quick question for enterprise software acolytes out there: which tech giant is bigger in cloud, Microsoft or Amazon?
startups venture capital
Debt Pitches Are in Vogue, but Not All Tech Startups Are Biting
When bankers from Morgan Stanley pitched cloud security firm Wiz last month about raising money through an issue of convertible notes, Wiz could have become the latest startup to pursue a financing tool that’s suddenly in vogue.
Illustration by Matheus Costa.
apple crypto
How Apple’s App Store Policies Squeeze NFT Startups
Non-fungible tokens, like much of the crypto world, are in regulators’ and lawmakers’ crosshairs.