YouTube acquires Twitch for more than $1 billion [Update]

By Ozzie Mejia, May 18, 2014 3:30pm PDT

Update: Twitch PR Director Chase has responded to a Shacknews inquiry, replying, "We don't comment on rumors."

Furthermore, the deal isn't entirely a sure thing, according to the Wall Street Journal. Twitch is currently exploring other revenue options that do not include selling the company.

Original story: YouTube has reportedly reached a deal to acquire video game streaming company Twitch, according to sources. The deal is for more than $1 billion, all in cash. The deal is said to be the largest in YouTube's history.

The story comes courtesy of Variety. Both YouTube and Twitch have declined comment thus far.

The transition may not be a smooth one, according to sources within YouTube. The company fully expects for the purchase to be challenged by the U.S. Justice Department on antitrust grounds.

The San Francisco-based Twitch Interactive originally launched in 2011 as an official gaming branch of Justin.tv, which was originally founded by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel, and Kyle Vogt. The site has raised about $35 million from several investors. The service's popularity has been such that Twitch-centered features have become a staple for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The deal would be a lucrative one for Twitch, but one that may make current users take pause. The Google-owned YouTube has made headlines in recent months for their harsh copyright stances, with some publishers (Nintendo, among them) notoriously flagging numerous videos containing copyrighted gaming content and claiming all monetization rights. YouTube has compounded the problem by making the appeals process extremely unfriendly to those accused of infringement.

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