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Author: Alan LittleDate: 2021-12-09

Roku (ROKU) +18% after last-minute YouTube deal with Google (GOOGL)

Roku (ROKU) shares soared 18% in midweek after it agreed a deal with Google (GOOGL) to keep YouTube on its platform just hours before it was set to be pulled.

Roku (ROKU) shares surged 18% on Wednesday after it struck a last-minute deal with Google (GOOGL) to keep the YouTube app on its streaming platform.

Roku said that it had agreed a “multi-year extension” with Google just hours after it had been reported that YouTube was on the brink of being pulled from its media players due to a major disagreement between the two companies.

Google announced early on Wednesday that Roku customers would no longer be able to download YouTube, or YouTube TV, from Thursday (9th December) as tensions came to a head following months of internal wrangling.

However, Google rowed back on that pledge several hours later when it came to a surprise agreement with Roku.

“We’re happy to share that we’ve reached a deal with Roku to continue distributing the YouTube and YouTube TV apps on Roku devices,” YouTube spokesperson Mariana De Felice said in a statement.

The reason for their reconciliation has not been made public, but the departure of YouTube would have been a major blow for Roku, with Apple’s (AAPL) Apple TV and Amazon’s (AMZN) Fire TV both carrying the app.

The deal is good news for Roku’s growing customer base, as the 56.4 million active accounts will not have to seek out an alternative platform to watch YouTube moving forward.

Roku said that the latest news was a “positive development”, though its fallout with Alphabet-owned Google has caught the attention of US Congress.

Roku was believed to be unhappy with how YouTube was given greater weight in Google search results compared to content from other providers and platforms.

Investors were delighted to see a new deal struck, as on Wednesday, Roku shares closed at +18.23% to $256.08 on the Nasdaq.

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