Between Motorola Mobility, Youtube, DoubleClick and others, Google is one of the current kings of the mergers and acquisitions space. And what’s next on the tech company’s radar? According to sources, it could be online live-video-streaming service Twitch.
On May 18, the Wall Street Journal reported that Google is in talks to purchase Twitch, one of the fastest-growing video services on the web. Talks are reportedly in the opening stages, and Twitch does maintain the option of opening another round of funding instead of selling, but both parties are at least interested in the talks.
Although Google-owned Youtube does offer a live streaming video service, that particular offering of the video-sharing website is not as popular as Twitch. According to the WSJ, Twitch accounts for 44 percent of all live streaming video traffic on the web.
Twitch launched in 2011, and in late 2013, it raised $20 million in a round of funding from investors that include Thrive Capital and videogame-maker Take-Two Interactive Software.
For Google, the move would represent yet another piece in the company’s intellectual property arsenal. The intellectual property space has been a visible focus at the tech company in 2014, as it kept most Motorola Mobility patents in the division’s sale to Lenovo and also entered cross-licensing agreements with both Samsung and Cisco in order to improve its portfolio.
As Catherine Lacavera, Google’s director of IP and litigation, tells InsideCounsel in the magazine’s upcoming June 2014 issue (p. 40), the acquisition of technology patents helps the company untangle the IP mess that comes with the production of many high-tech products. Having more patents also helps protect the company from patent trolls.
“In the high-tech space, each product is covered by a thicket of patents, as many as 250,000 patents on a cell phone,” Lacavera said. “There are unique challenges to launching a product, fighting back patent challenges to launches in the space, royalty stacking if the patents are disparately held.”
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