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Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch

Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors

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Google and Twitch were tight-lipped this morning in California – amid swirling rumors that the internet goliath will formally seal a $1bn deal to buy the video-streaming upstart.

Twitch spokesperson Chase (just Chase) refused to rule out the speculation, and instead gave us "no comment" when we called. Given that Twitch is a few blocks away from our office in San Francisco, we were on the verge of turning up with a few cold beers from the fridge to tease out any details. (That offer is still on the table, for what it's worth.)

Google, meanwhile, told us: "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."

In May, Variety first gave word of talks between the two companies on a billion-dollar deal. Today, the VentureBeat blog cited unnamed sources in reporting that the two firms have agreed on an acquisition deal worth $1bn.

According to the report, Twitch will be married to Google-owned YouTube.

Twitch, which specializes in allowing players to stream their in-game footage over the web, has become a favorite tool for hobbyists and competitive gamers seeking an easy way to share their adventures and broadcast match footage. The platform scales from individual users sharing game shots to full-scale broadcasts of professional tournaments.

The platform has also hosted one of the more interesting group-source projects in recent years: the massive Twitch plays Pokemon, which brought tens of thousands together in an effort to complete the classic role-playing game.

The startup claims to have 45 million monthly users, and is believed to have secured some $35m in funding since its launch in 2011. ®

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