Yesterday, surprising news broke that Amazon is to acquire game streaming service Twitch for a cool $970 Million. While there are fresh concerns over Amazon buying the service, just as there were when Google was pegged to be buying the service however, we’re still wondering what went wrong between Google and Twitch in the first place. It appears that Google couldn’t seal the deal with Twitch due to mounting antitrust concerns, with the two of them not agreeing on a “breakup fee” should the deal be denied regulatory approval.
As Forbes has been reporting, it appears that Google was very concerned with possible antitrust complaints and that the two companies couldn’t agree on a fee if the deal didn’t gain approval. When you’re as big a company as Google is, it’s no surprise that regulatory approval loomed large over the deal, especially considering Google own YouTube. With YouTube offering the same sort of services to Twitch, and it offering a vast amount of Let’s Play videos, walkthroughs and detailed reviews from the likes of TotalBiscuit, it appears Google was very concerned that antitrust complaints would pile up. According to reports over the summer, Google’s YouTube division was handling the deal that could have led to an all-cash purchase of the company for $1 Billion.
Ethan Kurzweil, of Bessemer Ventures Partners’, led his firm’s investment in Twitch and currently sits on the company’s board said that Twitch was approached by a number of different buyers, but in the end Amazon offered the best deal. Amazon has become something of a small – yet important – name in the gaming industry, with the purchase of their own gaming studio and the Fire TV that offers console-style gameplay from the living room. Concerns are that Amazon will want to rapidly change Twitch or simple absorb the brand into the Amazon fold, but for now Twitch have said that the company will operate as it always has done.