by Britton Peele

Amazon.com, Inc. just announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Twitch Interactive, Inc. for “approximately $970 million in cash, as adjusted for the assumption of options and other items,” according to a press release.

After launching three years ago, Twitch has become the definitive source for live-streaming of video game content, both from amateur players as well as major companies, including Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, who all streamed content through Twitch during the Electronic Entertainment Expo earlier this year. The service (and the live-streaming practice in general) has become so popular that its functionality was included and touted as a major factor of the newest game consoles, the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4.

Before today’s announcement, there was more than three months of speculation that Twitch would be acquired by Google, where it would compliment YouTube as a video service.

“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 – from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com said in a press release. “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.”

Twitch CEO Emmett Shear published a public letter to Twitch users, saying, “We chose Amazon because they believe in our community, they share our values and long-term vision, and they want to help us get there faster. We’re keeping most everything the same: our office, our employees, our brand, and most importantly our independence. But with Amazon’s support we’ll have the resources to bring you an even better Twitch.”

The deal is expected to close later this year.


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