On Monday, Amazon announced that a deal had been reached that would ensure their purchase of Twitch, the Internet streaming platform that has grown extremely fast and currently has countless followers.
Twitch had also negotiated with Google’s YouTube. However, it seems that Amazon’s offer beat the initial proposition. Google had offered more than $1 billion to buy Twitch, but while the streaming site management was considering its options, Amazon.com offered $970 million in cash and sealed the deal (on Monday, the company confirmed the purchase).
According to sources close to the negotiations, Google backed out of closing the deal due to potential antitrust issues they weren’t prepared for and that would have come with the acquisition. Chief Executive of Amazon, Jeffrey P. Bezos said that Twitch had done an amazing thing in bringing so many gamers together on the same platform. Basically, Twitch allows tens of millions of people simultaneously watch billions of minutes of games monthly.
Google already owns YouTube, the number one content streaming site worldwide. As Twitch, YouTube also broadcasts live streams and on-demand video game sessions. According to a particular source, Google and Twitch couldn’t settle on an agreement concerning the size of break-up fees if and when the deal wouldn’t go through.
While currently, YouTube dominates absolutely everything that has to do with video streaming, Twitch is the first site that has found additional audience (and a large one at that). Whether The International or billions of minutes of Mario (breaking world records) and even gaming conferences, Twitch is the place to see it all, according to Jeff Bezos. He added that Amazon and Twitch have several things in common. For instance, both obsess over customers and both want to think outside the box.
While several publications had confirmed that the deal between Twitch and Google had been almost sealed last month, neither Google nor Twitch confirmed rumors directly.
Amazon, who has now snatched Twitch from Google’s fingers, isn’t known for bold acquisitions. In fact, the Twitch deal ranks as the largest such deal in the last 20 years for the Seattle retailer. Other similar transactions involved Zappos, an online shoe website (for $850 million) and the Kiva Systems robotics company (for $775 million) two years ago.
And with its over 50 million monthly visitors, Twitch is clearly a high-profile acquisition to slip through Google’s fingers. In the past, Facebook snatched a similar deal from under Google’s nose when it bought WhatsApp for $19 billion.