Google Is Said to Have Held Acquisition Talks With Twitch

Google Inc. (GOOGL) has held talks to purchase video service Twitch Interactive Inc. to boost its YouTube site, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

With Twitch, Google would gain a platform that has more than 45 million active viewers a month. The San Francisco-based company acts as a social gathering place for video gamers, letting them discuss games or watch other players. Twitch is available on Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft Corp.’s Xbox One game consoles.

Variety reported earlier this week that the two companies are in talks on a transaction that could value Twitch at about $1 billion. Tim Drinan, a spokesman for Mountain View, California-based Google, declined to comment yesterday, as did Matthew DiPietro, vice president for marketing at Twitch.

Walt Disney Co.’s recent agreement to purchase Maker Studios for as much as $950 million has set off a scramble among well-capitalized companies to invest in or acquire online video companies that have a large viewer base. Google is stepping up efforts to bolster its video offerings as more users go online to find such content. YouTube was the No. 1 provider of video content in the U.S. during March, according to ComScore Inc. (SCOR)

Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Video creators wearing YouTube branded sweatshirts attend a seminar at Google Inc.'s YouTube Space studio in Tokyo. Google Inc. has held talks to purchase video service Twitch Interactive Inc. to boost its YouTube site, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. Close

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Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Video creators wearing YouTube branded sweatshirts attend a seminar at Google Inc.'s YouTube Space studio in Tokyo. Google Inc. has held talks to purchase video service Twitch Interactive Inc. to boost its YouTube site, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

Google has been on an acquisition tear as it looks to bolster services and attract more users. The Web-search company acquired digital-thermostat maker Nest Labs Inc. for $3.2 billion in February, and it has made several smaller deals in the past few weeks. Those include Stackdriver Inc., a startup that specializes in helping companies use online computing services, and Adometry Inc. to boost its Web measurement and analysis services.

To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net; Cliff Edwards in San Francisco at cedwards28@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pui-Wing Tam at ptam13@bloomberg.net; Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Stephen West

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