updated 04:55 pm EDT, Mon October 9, 2006
Google Buys YouTube
Previously hinted at by anonymous sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Google today confirmed that it was buying the Internet video provider for $1.65 billion in stock, according to an official press release. The deal will see YouTube retain its existing identity without any expected job cuts or relocation, Google says, as it prefers to keep the younger company's ad hoc culture intact. While exact details of the companies' future plans were not released, the buyout is expected to give YouTube a considerably wider reach than it has had in the past, integrating the video site with Google's extensive advertising and search resources.
In acquiring YouTube, Google now becomes the single largest distributor of online video and thus a tremendous influence on content providers as well as video stores such as iTunes. Google and YouTube expect the deal to be finalized by the end of 2006 pending government approval.