Report: Google to pay $1.6 bil for YouTube

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Two Internet titans might be joining forces. Google is in talks to acquire YouTube, according to a Wall Street Journal report filed online Friday. Representatives for both companies declined comment on "rumors and speculation." Representatives for both companies declined comment on "rumors and speculation."

The WSJ report cited a highly placed source confirming rumors that began circulating Thursday in the blogosphere. The report noted that the Internet search giant is prepared to purchase the popular viral-video site for $1.6 billion.

WSJ described the negotiations as being in a "sensitive stage and could well break off."

The combination of the companies could create a Web powerhouse, with YouTube supplying an expertise in streaming user-generated videos that has not been Google's specialty. However, Google could be in position to format YouTube videos with its advertising capabilities; News Corp. and Viacom inked deals last month to utilize Google's system.

YouTube has been the subject of takeover rumors with astronomical price tags in recent months, though threats of legal action from content companies over its usage of copyright-violating video has cast a cloud over that prospect.

YouTube founder and CEO Chad Hurley has publicly discussed seeking an IPO but never ruled out a sale.
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