Google Didn't Buy Twitch Because of Potential Antitrust Issues - Report

It was reported more than once that YouTube was going to acquire Twitch, and now we may know why it didn't.

Amazon's surprise acquisition of Twitch yesterday came several months after Google (through YouTube) was reported to be the streaming site's buyer. A VentureBeat report last month reaffirmed that Google would buy the site, which has obviously not ended up being the case. As it turns out, a deal between Google and Twitch could not be reached due to the possibility of antitrust complaints.

Forbes reports that Google was "concerned" with the prospect of antitrust issues it could face if it went through with the deal, which would have put it in control of YouTube (the largest video site on the Internet) and Twitch (the largest live-streaming site in the United States). Google has faced numerous antitrust issues in the past, both in the US and in Europe, with regard to its search engine and the use of Android to promote its services, among other things.

As a result of the antitrust concerns, Google and Twitch reportedly could not come to terms on a breakup fee, which is a sum paid to one company or the other if an acquisition falls apart.

Amazon's $970 million acquisition of Twitch will not change how the streaming site operates, according to the two companies. During a live stream with fans yesterday, Amazon's Michael Frazzini said, "Twitch is absolutely doing a great job and we don't want to change that at all." The two sides suggested Amazon's additional resources will instead help the site to grow.

Twitch received a great deal of criticism earlier this month when it began automatically muting videos with copyrighted audio--something which had the unintended side effect of muting videos containing nothing more than in-game audio. The move was believed to be a precursor to an acquisition by YouTube, although Twitch's growing size guaranteed it would eventually have to address the use of copyrighted material in its streams.

Both Twitch and Amazon have expanded into areas they were not previously involved in the past few years. Twitch recently began streaming concerts, while Amazon has moved into games by acquiring Double Helix Games and other game industry talent.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
For all of GameSpot's news coverage, check out our hub. Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

Discussion

57 comments
Relvar
Relvar

Nice. Now force them to sell YouTube.

hellzicke
hellzicke

if antitrust worked properly Google shouldn't had been allowed to buy Youtube.

roastedzombies
roastedzombies

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like the mute bot is going anywhere anytime soon.. You can thank the greedy music industry along with the over-capitalistic US government for that.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

Twitch got 2x more money for their acquisition than Oculus did.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Uhh... I thought Google already bought them?!  People have been bitching about changes Google made to Twitch for a week.

prats93
prats93

What is "antitrust" exactly?

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

Well Twitch is down now. Looks like the Amazon buyout got LizardSquad's attention.

drsw36
drsw36

Google destroyed Youtube. I'm glad they didn't buy Twitch.

simsumre
simsumre

Thank GOD it wasn't Google.

capnrico
capnrico

Can you guys please credit @julia_cassian on twitter for her twitch-amazon logo you keep using?

tachsniper
tachsniper

people still care about anti trust? coulda fooled me. 

xcollector
xcollector

Too bad antitrust issues don't officially include NSA spying.

ghost140
ghost140

Not sure I believe that since when has Anti-trust bothered any major company the FCC has been bought out before and Google knows this. Hell all you have to do is look at the TWC/Comcast deal and how favorably the FCC feels about.

mprince131
mprince131

@hellzicke There was nothing "antitrust" about Google acquiring YouTube. They were not in the same business space.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@roastedzombies Pal, the overall copyright laws are by nature tyrannical, US government is complete powerless before major companies like Disney, Time Warner, Sony and many others.


Something that a lot of people doesn't even realize, is that the entertainment industry in current times is the industry that employs most people in the whole world(directly and indirectly), over a thousand job positions were created in the last few decades just for few areas in the industry, so these companies have far more power over a nation than its own rulers, more rights than its citizens, in order to arrest a pedophile, or even a murderer takes a long time to happen, if they bust in their house whiteout a warrant signed by a judge, they drop the case, and no longer a new case can be open against that person, however they bust peoples homes for anti-piracy measures and don't even care for warrants, all they need is a publisher fit, pirates are treated worse than rapists in a court.

We aren't electing a president, a governor or even a mayor, we are electing a representative of a company, they should take out of their closets their real suits, the ones with the brands they are sponsored. 

Baconelite
Baconelite

@saturatedbutter It's the other way around. Facebook paid 2 billion for Oculus which is more than double of what Amazon paid for Twitch.

Pyro978
Pyro978

@prats93 Basically it's to prevent companies from becoming monopolies. If you remember, AT&T wasn't allowed to buy T-Mobile because it would've made AT&T too big and in control of too much of what they do. So if you look at that and look at this case with Google and Twitch. Google owns YouTube and if they bought Twitch they would've been in control of a streaming media on the Internet.

mike468
mike468

@saturatedbutter These guys are seriously asking for it...


lets target every major social network we can for lulz: PSN, XBL, Tumblr, Twitch, bomb scare on plane...what's next? How about facebook, Instagram and yahoo?...ends sarcasm.


These guys are asking for the biggest banhammer to get dropped on them in real life.

DrKill09
DrKill09

@drsw36 YouTube was great til Google bought them.  Then vids started getting pulled for copyright crap.  Sorry, a 30 second, ultra compressed copy of a song, and a 10 second movie clip are doing ZERO damage to the big companies.  Actually, they are free advertisement, but Google are too dickless to stand up for fair use.


The comment section on your home page is now hidden in a separate tab, instead of being on your main page, so nobody uses it.


You can't PM anyone you want anymore.  The inbox is now in this stupid setup like Facebook, so it's hard to see who contacted you when.  The email type setup was SOOO much better.


Videos don't load half the time.


And the ads... god I hate them.


If you use ANY music or video clips, you don't get money for your reviews or parody videos.  Thereby crippling your artistic expression.


Then Google itself spies on everything you do.  I HATE them!


The only thing that improved was the video quality and the uploader.

Pyro978
Pyro978

@drsw36 It could be worst under Amazon, you won't know until later

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@capnrico Is this a joke? You are obviously her fan but you haven't bothered to even look at the picture she made?

She did a Twitch.tv logo with a completely different font. They aren't using her logo at all. This type of logo mashup happens every time a major company buys another. Notice how Julia isn't upset? It's because she knows they aren't using her logo.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@capnrico Gamespot isn't using the logo she made. The one Gamespot is using has the Twitch logo with the Amazon underline. That girl made a different logo that makes Twitch.Tv look like Amazon's logo. She didn't use Twitch's logo.

Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@xcollector Antitrust is anti-monopoly law.

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@ghost140 Is the FTC prone to playing favorites? Yes. But to say that antitrust laws don't matter or that they are never brought up is stupid. So many huge merger deals have been shot down in recent years for anti trust reasons.

Microsoft pretty much made the worst investment in history to avoid anti-trust problems in 1997. They threw cash at Apple who was about to go bankrupt/die in order to keep them alive, allowing them to avoid being called a monopoly. Apple used that money to go from 3 billion value to 505 BILLION total value today, and Microsoft went from 556 billion to only 320 billion today.


It's crazy how much the world has changed because of that lifeline Microsoft gave Apple. All to avoid monopoly charges.

silentmobius
silentmobius

@ghost140 Also look at the buyout of Macromedia by Adobe. Now Adobe basically has no real competition in professional design software and can practically do whatever they want and charge whatever they please. Where was the FCC then?

hystavito
hystavito

@ghost140 Well technically they said they could not come to an agreement on the breakup fee.  So maybe Google felt they could get past the antitrust, but both sides just didn't agree on how likely that was and who should pay what if it fails.

am_h8ter_ade
am_h8ter_ade

@ghost140 TWC/Comcast hasn't gone through yet and might not because of Antitrust concerns. It happens more often than you think. At&t and T-mobile was a big one that was stopped just a few years ago.


Sohereiam
Sohereiam

@ricardo-sene Its a international law that controls the anti-competitive behavior of companies, such a partnership that difficult new competition on the market and monopoly practices.

saturatedbutter
saturatedbutter

@Baconelite Nope. Facebook paid 400 million. 1.6 billion of that was just "shares in Facebook". Twitch got 970 million all in cool hard cash.

formaldawg
formaldawg

@Pyro978  Pyro is right... that's also what happened when Apple almost went bankrupt... Microsoft would have had too much control so instead MS had to buy some Apple shares then sell them back when Apple earned enough money to get back on its own

capnrico
capnrico

@OldDirtyCR Yep thats been pointed out an hour and a half ago. My mistake. Obviously several other people made the same mistake.

capnrico
capnrico

@saturatedbutter @capnrico Wow, good call. My bad completely. I had them mashed up in my head until you pointed it out :)  In my defense several other people apparently did the same thing! :P