Amazon has announced that it will spend $1.1 billion to acquire Twitch, a website that allows viewers to watch other people play video games. The three-year-old site gets 55 million unique viewers per month, making it one of the 15 most popular websites in the world, and Google was also said to be interested in purchasing it. Amazon says it plans to continue running Twitch independently for now.
Game developers have licensing agreements with Twitch that allow the site to broadcast their content. Given Amazon’s contentious relationship with publishers, some industry watchers predict that Amazon could soon face similar disputes with developers. It’s unclear if game makers will want to continue their current arrangements with Twitch now that it is owned by Amazon.