Google-owned YouTube is on the verge of announcing a $1 billion deal to buy Twitch, the popular videogame streaming service, according to Variety. The deal, which will apparently be paid for entirely in cash, is set to be announced “imminently,” according to Variety’s sources. It would be YouTube’s most significant purchase after it was bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. YouTube is getting ready for regulators to challenge the deal since the top Internet-video platform would be buying the top videogame-streaming company.
Twitch has surged in popularity since it was first launched in 2011 and is now by far the most popular place for people to upload and watch live streams of video games. During prime Internet hours, Twitch ranks with the largest Internet companies, and is responsible for even more traffic than Hulu and Facebook, according to a study released earlier this year cited by The Verge. Twitch claims to have 45 million monthly users and more than 1 million members who actually upload videos each month. Twitch’s huge surge in popularity was in part due to the launch of the Playstation 4 and Xbox One, which allowed for streaming directly from the console.