Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Flashback: When Viacom Wanted to Buy YouTube

Here are a couple documents the Google public relations team is pointing reporters to as it releases material related to its fight with Viacom: Evidence that Viacom executives were interested in buying YouTube four years ago.

My understanding is that Viacom discussed this internally and made preliminary approaches to YouTube in 2006, but that discussions never got serious, even though Viacom had thrown out a $1 billion price tag. Google (GOOG), of course, ended up buying YouTube for $1.65 billion later that year.

The implication here is that if Viacom (VIA) thought YouTube was worth owning in 2006, it shouldn’t be suing it now. I don’t know if this is relevant in court, but that’s for lawyers and judges to hash out.

Regardless, it’s fun reading, if you’re into this kind of thing. Note the concern among Viacom executives that News Corp. (NWS) would end up owning YouTube instead of them.


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”