[…]Web-search giant Google is in talks to acquire YouTube for roughly $1.6 billion, a person familiar with the matter says. An acquisition of the closely held company would catapult Google to the lead spot in online video at a moment when consumers are rapidly increasing the amount of time they spend viewing video clips online, and Internet video advertising is booming.
[…]A purchase of YouTube would give a big boost to the online-video efforts of Google. YouTube commanded 46% of visits to U.S. online-video sites in September, according to market-research firm Hitwise. That compared with a 21% share for the video activities of News Corp.’s MySpace site and 11% for Google Video. Microsoft Corp., which recently launched a test version of its Soapbox service for users to submit and view videos, had a 7% share of such visits, according to Hitwise. News Corp. in the past expressed interest in discussing a possible acquisition with YouTube, say people familiar with the matter. News Corp. declined to comment.[…]