Google is planning to buy US independent developer Valve according to a new report on The Inquirer.
"Well place sources tell us that Google is going to be buying Valve any second now," says the site, pointing to the developer's extremely popular Steam distribution platform as the motivation for the rumoured buy.
The Inquirer adds: "Valve has the best content distribution platform out there, bar none. Steam may have had rough patches here and there, but they are almost all ironed out now, and just about everyone that matters has signed up to use it.
"When Google picks them up, it will be a clean kill, no one else will matter. It is a good buy for them, a good thing for Valve, and in general, good for everyone except MS."
The news would be the latest in Google’s ascent into the interactive entertainment space, following the announcement of virtual worlds platform Lively.
Steam, meanwhile, reached 15 million registered accounts in February.
Valve marketing boss Doug Lombardi said in an interview August that the studio would be ‘happy to discuss an acquisition’ with potential buyers.
An article in Forbes last month predicted that Google would soon move into traditional games publishing.
Develop has contacted Valve for an official comment.