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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus