TechCrunch's Michael Arrington is reporting on a "completely unsubstantiated" rumor that Google is in the final stages of closing a deal to acquire YouTube for $1.6 billion
. He says his source for the rumor is "very good," but that he hasn't been able to get any confirmation. Google certainly has the cash and resources for this kind of transaction, and is probably one of the few companies that isn't scared stupid by the pile of lawsuits that some say loom over YouTube's head
, but is YouTube really a fit for Google? Technologically, YouTube doesn't have anything that Google couldn't whip up in a few hours. YouTube does, however, have the social networking savvy that Google has proven itself to be not especially good
at. Arrington puts the odds for this rumor at "40% likely to be at least partially true," but my gut says lower--30% or so.Update:
The Wall Street Journal is now reporting
that Google and YouTube are indeed in talks, but they are in the early stages and could break off. It quotes the same $1.6 billion figure that Arrington cited.