Rumour: YouTube to buy Twitch for US$1 billion

The companies are keeping mum about the buyout rumours
YouTube buys Twitch for US$1b

Word on the tech street is that YouTube could possibly buy out video game streaming company Twitch, for a whopping US$1 billion (RM3.21 billion) in cash, making it the largest deal in YouTube history (that is, if there’s any validity to the rumors).

According to Variety, the deal’s close to being confirmed, with an official announcement due any day, but both companies have declined to comment on the matter.

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Twitch, it’s the biggest global streaming service that lets gamers watch others play games. Why they’ll want to do that, we don’t know, since we reckon playing a game ourselves would be way more fun.

But the service has been gaining massive popularity since 2011, especially for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and has raised about US$35 million (RM112 million) since becoming an independent business (no wonder it’s throwing such a large sum of money on Twitch).

Who's going to benefit the most?

YouTube buys Twitch for US$1b

So if the move does materialise, it'll place one of the web’s most highly visited sites in Google’s hands – the search giant acquired YouTube for US$1.65 billion (RM5.3 billion) in 2006.

But the looming question is, what’s in the deal for Google (since the rumors are of YouTube instead of Google buying out Twitch), besides the obvious that it'll allow Google a dip inside the honeypot that's the online video space.

Other sources, such as the WSJ, claim the companies are still early in the stages of talk, while sources within YouTube say the acquisition might be challenged by the US Justice Department on the grounds of anti-trust.

We'll just have to wait and see how this plays out. 

READ MORE: Top 10 YouTube videos of 2013 in Singapore

[Sources: TechCrunch and ShackNews]