Google buys YouTube in $1.65 billion stock deal

Google has agreed to buy YouTube Inc. in an all-stock deal worth about $1.65 billion. The deal brings together two of the Internet’s top brands, although whether YouTube has a truly unique business model and can avoid becoming a brand best known for copy-infringement lawsuits remains to be seen.

“The YouTube team has built an exciting and powerful media platform that complements Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” said Google CEO Eric Schmidt in a press release.

The Wall Street Journal says YouTube will at least initially retain a significant measure of independence, keeping its brand and offices. YouTube will continue to be based in San Bruno, Calif., and all YouTube employees will remain with the company. The companies said they expect to close the transaction in the fourth quarter.

YouTube CEO and co-founder Chad Hurley said: “By joining forces with Google, we can benefit from its global reach and technology leadership to deliver a more comprehensive entertainment experience for our users and to create new opportunities for our partners.”