If anyone did a Google search for “the most sought after internet property … ever!” the result would be YouTube.
Everyone’s favorite video-sharing Web site just got slammed with a price tag of $1.6 billion. As the top five conglomerates of the Internet were clamoring to seal the deal, Google won out.
Regarding that whopping price, the company’s founders probably didn’t even know that their site was worth that much; heck, they didn’t even know it was for sale. The big five of the Internet – Google, Microsoft, Viacom, and News Corporation – decided between themselves that YouTube was for sale.
The frontrunner for the purchase was always Google; assuming there was even going to be a purchase. Chad Hurley, one of the company’s founders, said “We’re not even thinking about being acquired or going public.”
I’m traditionally in support of companies remaining privately owned if they want to. Being pressured by massive (OK, colossal) price tags isn’t my idea of good business.
Oh sure, a deal has been made – but only one side is truly benefiting.
However, if YouTube has to fall into the hands of corporate ownership, Google sounds like the best choice. Google is innovative and has reinvented the way people search the Internet.
Even more than just searching, Google made the search engine and all-purpose tool, more than ever before. In addition to pulling massive profits, Google is known for treating employees and their families with the utmost care and respect. It’s regarded as one of the best companies to work for, in terms of employee
Furthermore, YouTube is a company that since its inception last December has yet to turn a profit. This isn’t a situation a company wants to be in when it is facing an onslaught of potential copyright lawsuits. Now under Google, not only can they cushion the financial backlash (Google is worth $129 billion), but the geniuses can also develop technology that will sort out the problem of broadcasting copyrighted material, versus home videos of cats falling off kitchen counters.
If YouTube had to be sold (or bought out), Google was the best choice to claim it. And although they can undoubtedly work miracles
with it, the real concern is whether every novel site that surfaces on the Web should be stamped with the company seal of a large corporation.
MySpace sold to Microsoft for $580 million to News Corp. Now, the buyout of YouTube
has dwarfed those numbers.
Jesse North can be reached at