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Amazon Acquires Twitch in $1 Billion Deal

The game streaming site has been officially purchased by Amazon.

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Update: Amazon and Twitch have officially announced the deal, which will see Amazon purchase all outstanding shares of Twitch for roughly $970 million in cash. The deal has been approved by Twitch's shareholders and should be completed sometime later this year.

In a message addressed to the Twitch community, CEO Emmett Shear wrote, "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.

"I personally want to thank you, each and every member of the Twitch community, for what you've created. Thank you for putting your faith in us. Thank you for sticking with us through growing pains and stumbles. Thank you for bringing your very best to us and sharing it with the world. Thank you, from a group of gamers who never dreamed they'd get to help shape the face of the industry that we love so much. It's dangerous to go alone. On behalf of myself and everyone else at Twitch, thank you for coming with us."

Original Story: Despite a pair of reports earlier this year suggesting that Google--through its YouTube subsidiary--would acquire Twitch, new reports state it is instead Amazon that will purchase the game streaming site.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has agreed to a deal that will see it acquire Twitch for $1 billion. This follows an early report from The Information which stated that the deal could be announced soon (the WSJ says official word may come today), but that it was unclear if anything had yet to be signed.

This comes as a surprise given that YouTube was widely believed to be the site's buyer. Variety reported in May that it would acquire Twitch for $1 billion, a prospect that was reinforced by a VentureBeat report last month. Although neither of the companies involved had officially addressed the possibility, it was presumed to be on the verge of completion when Twitch recently began implementing the YouTube-like policy of automatically muting videos containing copyrighted audio earlier this month. The WSJ's sources indicate talks between Google and Twitch have "cooled" as of late.

Twitch is the largest live-streaming website in the United States by a wide margin, according to a report released this spring, and has expanded into non-gaming ventures, like streaming concerts. Amazon has become aggressive about gaining a foothold in the video game industry, attracting talent like the designers of Portal and Far Cry and purchasing Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games.

GameSpot has contacted both Amazon and Twitch and will report back with anything we learn.

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