Google is close to buying YouTube for $1.6bn, according to reports. Props for the scoop, if the talks pan out, go to TechCrunch, the Red Herring of the Web 2.0 Generation, which today reported this "completely Unsubstantiated Google/YouTube Rumor". The WSJ today also says that Google and YouTube are negotiating and mention $1.6bn as the price. But this could merely mean that the two publications have the same source.
According to the WSJ, the talks are at a sensitive stage and could break off. Which would be madness on YouTube's part, if it was doing the breaking. This enormously popular bazaar of video pratfalls, US government propaganda and stolen TV and film clips, needs a sugar daddy.
At some point the VC money will run out, and at some point, it will be landed with a big copyright suit. Google has voluminous pockets; it has the servers and the bandwidth, and it is willing to tough it out with just about any copyright holder that gets its way. And while it may be the daddy of text search, it trails far behind YouTube, when it comes to video.
YouTube's owners would be daft not to cut and run. ®