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YouTube in talks to purchase Twitch, gamer reaction is mixed

Photo courtesy of Twitch, used with permission

The biggest name in video streaming, YouTube, is set to acquire the biggest name in video game streaming, Twitch, according to a new report Sunday. The deal will total more than $1 billion but has to get approval from regulators first.

Sources with Variety say that a deal between the two companies have reached a deal and transaction will be done completely on a cash basis. Naturally, neither the Google owned YouTube or Twitch will confirm the deal yet. However, Wall Street Journal reporter Rolfe Winkler, who covers Google, says that the deal is not done and that the two companies are still in talks.

Twitch was founded in 2011 by creators Justin Kan and Emmet Shear. The streaming video website has exploded in popularity with more than 45 million viewers every month. It’s also expanded to include built-in streaming from both the Playstation 4 and Xbox One consoles. According to a February report from Wall Street Journal, the service accounts for 1.8 percent of internet traffic during peak hours in the United States. That puts it behind only Netflix (32 percent), Google (22 percent) and Apple (4.3 percent).

The executives at Google and YouTube have obviously taken a look at the explosive growth of Twitch and decided they want in. However, getting past U.S. regulators will be a whole other task. YouTube is the dominant force in the online video realm with more than 1 billion users worldwide. The Justice Department is expected to take a close look at anticompetitive concerns with the acquisition as a result.

From a gamer perspective, reaction has been mixed. Some have expressed no concern while others have expressed dismay. One of the major concerns, as pointed by NeoGAF’s Apdiddy and others, is how strict YouTube is when it comes to content and other changes that have been made to how user created content based on video games is shared.