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Google reportedly buys Twitch game streaming site for $1bn

Tom Morgan
25 Jul 2014
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Reports suggest Google and Twitch have agreed on a $1bn buyout of the game streaming service, but both parties are staying quiet for now

Google has reportedly finalised a deal to buy game streaming service Twitch for a whopping $1 billion - although both companies are keeping quiet on the details, leaving gamers in the dark as to whether one of the most popular live video sites on the internet has changed hands or not.

According to VentureBeat, "sources familiar with the matter" confirmed that Google had signed the deal, although they couldn't confirm when it would be officially announced or what the exact purchase price was. Allegedly Google's YouTube division is handling the purchase, with an all-cash offer to take control of the company.

Twitch has surged in popularity since its introduction in 2011 as a gaming focused side-project from Justin.tv, helped in part by the ability to live stream gameplay from both Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 without the need for dedicated capture equipment. Both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards now support Twitch broadcasts too, meaning almost anyone can stream their gameplay to thousands of other players without having to invest in expensive hardware. 

An incredible 43 million viewers watched Twitch streams every month in 2013, with the average viewer spending an hour and a half tuned into other people playing games. The service accounted for around 1.4% of all internet traffic in March this year, according to network specialist Sandvine.

Google originally showed an interest in buying Twitch back in May, when Variety reported that the company was preparing for US regulators to challenge the deal - with YouTube used by one billion people worldwide to watch around 6 billion hours of video per month, buying Twitch could become a major anticompetitive issue for online video.

With neither company willing to give an official statement, it's not clear when the deal will be made public - if indeed it has been made at all. We'll be sure to update this article as soon as we learn the facts.

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