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Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to be distributed on Roku.

Why it matters: Roku's deal with Google to distribute YouTube was set to expire this month. Without a deal, YouTube would've been removed from Roku's channel store, creating a big competitive disadvantage, especially during the holiday season.

Details: "Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV," a Roku spokesperson said.

  • "This agreement represents a positive development for our shared customers, making both YouTube and YouTube TV available for all streamers on the Roku platform.”

Catch up quick: Roku first warned customers in April that YouTube TV, Google's live TV skinny bundle app, may be forced off its platform if the two companies couldn't come to an agreement. A few days later, the app was removed from the Roku store.

  • In October, Roku warned customers that it still not been able to strike a distribution agreement with Google for YouTube TV, which had been removed from Roku's store for five months.
  • It also said Google was threatening to make its regular YouTube app unavailable to new users on Roku if an agreement wasn't reached by December.

Be smart: At the heart of these conflicts were allegations from Roku that Google was making anti-competitive demands as a part of its distribution agreements, including preferential treatment of its YouTube TV and YouTube apps within the Roku system.

  • Roku did not back down from these allegations for months, and Google publicly denied them. In October, CNBC reported it had seen an email showing that YouTube executives had made such demands in 2019. Axios had also seen that email and can confirm the contents.
  • Democratic members of Congress weighed in with support for Roku following the latest public clash in October.

The big picture: The long-term nature of the deal allows Roku to avoid having another messy spat with Google for a while, giving consumers more certainty at a time when these types of fights between streamers, programmers and app developers are becoming more frequent.

Go deeper: TV battles spill into streaming

Go deeper

12 mins ago - World

Scoop: Ukraine tells senators post-invasion sanctions are no help

Zelensky. Photo: Johanna Geron/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told U.S. senators visiting Kyiv this week that waiting to impose sanctions on Russia until after an invasion is of no use to Ukraine, according to four sources familiar with the discussions.

Why it matters: The Senate is currently working on a major sanctions package to deter Russia from attacking Ukraine. Democrats and Republicans are united in their support for Ukraine, but divided over whether it would be more effective to sanction Russia now to signal resolve, or hold up the threat of future sanctions to demonstrate the high costs of an invasion.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks has dropped plans to require that U.S. workers get the COVID vaccine or submit to weekly testing, the company announced Tuesday in a memo to employees.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

4 hours ago - World

Netanyahu plea talks enter crunch time

Netanyahu (right) meets with his lawyer ahead of a court hearing last February. Photo: Reuven Casto/Pool/AFP via Getty

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's opposition leader and former prime minister, is negotiating a possible plea deal over the corruption charges against him, but Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit appears to be toughening his terms.

Why it matters: Mandelblit leaves office on Jan. 31. Negotiations could continue beyond that point, but the next attorney general may be less interested in quickly reaching a deal.