Yes! You heard me...
After all the speculation on the web recently about Google's acquisition of YouTube, it has finally been confirmed. Google will acquire YouTube for a total of $1.65 BILLION in stock. This is the biggest purchase ever made by Google!
In it's press release, Google notes that "Following the acquisition, YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand and passionate community."
It is also interesting to note how Google sees this acquisition in the light of it's own competing video sharing site Google Video. The press release goes on to mention that "When the acquisition is complete, YouTube will retain its distinct brand identity, strengthening and complementing Google's own fast-growing video business."
According to Techcrunch ,Yahoo might have been in the race for Youtube until the very end!
You can listen to their Press Release Conference Call by dialing 888-203-1112 in the US and 719-457-0820 internationally. You can use the confirmation code 2260624 to listen to the recordings.
Eric Schmidt, Sergey Brin, the Youtube founders - Chad Hurley and Steven Chen and others were present in the call. They discuss the reasons why Google decided to buy Youtube and why Youtube agreed to the offer. They also discuss technological aspects and other details of the deal. Google will integrate its ad platform into Youtube. They also take some questions from some of the callers.
This is a really big deal and can be expected to change the online video sharing scene quite a bit. It will be interesting to see how Google monetizes Youtube and how they fend off the copyright violation suits that may be expected to hit Youtube now that Google has acquired them.