E-retailer Amazon.com is betting that it can make money on the latest internet fad.
It is buying the video live-streaming gaming network Twitch Interactive for the equivalent of around 750 million euros, including some retention agreements.
It is the largest deal in Amazon’s 20-year history and will help it compete with Apple and Google in the world of online gaming.
Using Twitch people can send messages to competitors and each other as they watch video games being played online.
The fast-growing service is a major magnet for advertisers, given the loyal fan base for online gaming. More than 55 million unique visitors viewed more than 15 billion minutes of content on Twitch in July.
Currently the sector accounts for more than three quarters of all mobile app sales.
The purchase is is an unusual step for Amazon. In the past it has mainly built from within or made smaller acquisitions.
Technology rival Google was reportedly earlier in talks to buy Twitch, which launched slightly more than three years ago.
Some video game live casters on Twitch already have embedded links to the Amazon’s online store and the tie up should present new retail opportunities for Amazon through Twitch’s network of gamers.
Analysts said the deal may result in more product tie-ins and a deeper integration with Amazon Instant Video and Amazon devices like the Kindle Fire tablet and recently launched Fire TV set-top box.