Apparently, Mark Cuban’s comments fell on deaf ears. A week of intense speculation has finally come to an end Monday, as Reuters and Yahoo are both announcing that Google officially will acquire video-sharing darling YouTube for $1.6 billion in stock.
The deal undoubtedly raises the stakes as well as eyebrows in the consumer-generated arena, as it’s the first to attach a $1 billion value to a specific user-generated property. But it might be worth it, according to comScore stats. According to the Web analysis firm, worldwide traffic to Youtube.com (among visitors 15+) has grown nearly 2,500 percent from August 2005 to August 2006, from 2.8 million visitors to 72 million.
Google’s purchase of Silicon Valley neighbor YouTube also marks the priciest acquisition in the Web giant’s eight-year history. “We are natural partners to offer a compelling media entertainment service to users, content owners and advertisers,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO, in a statement.
According to Yahoo, YouTube will continue to retain its brand, as well as all 67 employees, including co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.