updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri October 6, 2006
Google May Buy YouTube
Google is in sensitive discussions to buy the video host YouTube, an anonymous source has told the Wall Street Journal. The deal [note: link expires after Friday] is reported to be valued at $1.6 billion and would give Google an effective monopoly over web-based video, according to journalist Kevin Delaney. YouTube, which serves over 100 million videos per day, has been considered a problematic takeover prospect by many as its popularity stems from both legitimate amateur and official videos as well as the illegal clips from movies and TV shows that are often uploaded without YouTube's knowledge or consent. Google Video by contrast retains a significant but considerably smaller share of Internet video streaming.
If accurate, the move may also have substantial consequences for Apple, whose Board of Directors includes Google CEO Eric Schmidt. The absorption of YouTube into Google would give Schmidt a strong influence over Apple's own recent movie initiative and could result in the merging of web-based video with Apple's largely closed system.