Saturday, October 07, 2006

Google and YouTube - media goes into a frenzy

PING! PING! PING! The internet world and our email alerts appear to have gone mad overnight with speculation over a takeover of YouTube by Google.

Astonishingly – though some would argue par for the course these days – the story first broke on the Silicon Valley-based blog, TechCrunch, but was soon picked up by the Wall Street Journal, which published the story on its website.

Since then much of the world’s media has scrambled around to take the story forward, but most sensibly have concentrated on what a deal would mean for pair and the wider internet community.

Both Google (unsurprisingly, as it says very little days) and YouTube are remaining tight lipped about any potential deal, which is rumoured to be worth around £850m.

Follow the thread on TechCrunch for some interesting comments.

Opinions there and elsewhere could be summarised quite easily:

* Google wouldn’t want the hassle of the inevitable copyright lawsuits that would flood its way following a sale.

* Users would desert YouTube if Google took over as it would impose its corporate structure and rules on the service – and therefore it might lose its laissez faire attitude to the web.

* It’s a fantastic deal for both parties – especially YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Stephen Chen – and gives Google another route out of its reliance on search.

* Microsoft might attempt to scupper the deal. Indeed the speculation could actually trigger a bidding war amongst a plethora of media companies.

What impact would this have on the rest of the web, and travel in particular?

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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