Report: Google was Afraid of Antitrust Investigation if it Acquired Twitch

Prior to yesterday's announcement that Amazon had purchased Twitch, the prevailing rumor was that Google was going to snap up the video streaming service for over $1 billion. Variety and GamesBeat used strong words like "confirmed" and cited what they deemed to be "reliable sources" close to the deal, indicating that Google's acquisition of Twitch was a lock. Except it wasn't. So if Google was interested in snapping up Twitch, then why did it back away from the deal?

According to Forbes, Google walked away from the deal because it was deeply "concerned that about potential antitrust issues that could have come with the acquisition." Management apparently felt that buying Twitch might trigger an anti-trust investigation because they own YouTube – a competitor to Twitch (thanks to the integration of Google Plus streaming). One source cited by Forbes said that – because of these concerns – Google and Twitch could not come to an agreement "on the size of a potential breakup fee in case the deal did not go through."

According to what Bessemer Ventures Partners’ Ethan Kurzweil tells Forbes, the Google-Twitch deal was far from complete, contrary to what was being reported. Kurzweil led his firm’s investment in Twitch and sits on the company's board. Kurzweil also said that there were other suitors involved after Twitch talked with Google. Kurzweil and fellow BVP member David Cowan explored other possibilities and hired Silicon Valley banker Frank Quattrone of Qatalyst Partners to open up acquisition talks with several other companies.

The rest, as they say, is in the history books. Amazon announced the purchase of Twitch for $970 million.

Twitch and Google never publicly confirmed that they were in acquisition talks.

Source: Forbes by way of Andrew Eisen

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  1. 0
    Neo_DrKefka says:

    What kills me right now is everyone is trying to stop Google because it has better software and hardware. 

    The whole Time Warner, Comcast merger is all about survival from Google Fiber because when it comes down to it Google Fiber is what Comcast was to AOL. Comcast runs using overpriced 14 year old hardware with services that are completely outdated. Time Warner, they are even worse. 

    Google does need checks but the fact is we need them in the cable market right now and rather worrying about them becoming to big to fail let's worry about these companies that are allowed to merge and then become to big to fail because of political pay offs.

  2. 0
    Wymorence says:

    Given all the brouhaha that was being dusted up over people (as stated earlier) claiming that "Google's invisible hand is strangling Twitch", I think I'll be taking this with a grain of salt until I hear it directly from the horse's mouth.

  3. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    My question here is, did Google stop and say "no, this might trigger antitrust stuff, we'd better not" so Amazon came in, or did they hesitate and go "hang on, we'd better make sure this won't cause a problem" and while they were thinking, Amazon swooped in and sniped them? It sounds like the former.

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