For six months after WarnerMedia launched HBO Max, the growth of the high-profile new streaming service suffered because the company couldn’t reach deals to distribute the service on popular streaming devices, including those made by Amazon. The impasse was so paralyzing that John Stankey—CEO of WarnerMedia’s parent company, AT&T—groused publicly that the standoff illustrated how Amazon had too much power.
But by mid-November, Amazon and Warner had suddenly made peace, cutting a deal to put HBO Max onto Amazon’s Fire TV devices. What helped seal the pact was Warner’s agreement to extend an existing deal it had with Amazon’s cloud service, Amazon Web Services, people familiar with the situation told The Information. That previously unreported provision of the agreement highlights how big tech companies that operate in multiple categories are increasingly negotiating partnerships traversing many of their businesses.