Amazon will acquire video service Twitch Interactive Inc. for nearly $1 billion, negating talk that Google was going to be the tech giant to purchase the online hub for gamers.
The company will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014.
“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”
Amazon moved in on the deal after Google’s talks collapsed. Google was in discussions to pay a similar price for Twitch, but no word as to why the deal fell through.
In July, Twitch saw more than 55 million unique visitors consume more than 15 billion minutes of content which was produced by more than 1 million broadcasters. The platform is an online space where active users gather online to discuss games or watch other users play. Currently, Twitch is available on PlayStation4 and Xbox One consoles.
“Amazon and Twitch optimize for our customers first and are both believers in the future of gaming,” said Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. “Being part of Amazon will let us do even more for our community. We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world.”
The deal will boost Amazon’s profile in the online video space. With companies like Disney snapping up Maker Studios and DreamWorks Animation buying AwesomenessTV, tech giants like Amazon, Google and Yahoo are working hard to keep pace.