While a source from Amazon’s media buyer, Initiative, reportedly told Buzzfeed News that the choice was made due to budget cuts, some at Amazon believe it’s actually due to a story Bloomberg published alleging that China hacked into Amazon and Apple’s servers. Fortune reached out to Amazon, but did not receive an immediate reply. Bloomberg declined to comment on the matter. A source also confirmed to Business Insider that Amazon pulled its fourth quarter ads.
Amazon spokesperson Grant Milne told Buzzfeed News the ads were actually pulled because they missed a “creative deadline.” However, it appeared Amazon later purchased a set of ads on Bloomberg, though smaller than initially planned and only for Bloomberg TV. Buzzfeed News also noted that Amazon announced earlier this week that it was actually increasing its marketing spending, further contradicting earlier claims that the choice was made due to budget restraints. Amazon reportedly purchased the new ads itself, not through its media buyer, according to Business Insider.
The Bloomberg story claimed that the Chinese government used microchips in Amazon and Apple’s hardware to hack their servers. Both companies disputed the claims, while Apple CEO Tim Cook and Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy both called on Bloomberg to retract the story. Bloomberg has stood by the piece.
It was also reported that Apple did not invite Bloomberg to its upcoming product event.