Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed his company paid a $1 billion premium for YouTube, as they feared that a lower bid could drive the video sharing site into the arms of Microsoft or Yahoo.
Schmidt had his reasons for asking his board to OK an offer of $1 billion more than what he thought the site was worth. The CEO made the comments during a deposition he gave in May as part of the copyright lawsuit Viacom filed against Google and YouTube in 2007. In short, he believed that Google had to offer that much, or competitors, presumably Microsoft or Yahoo, would walk away with the increasingly popular video site.
"This is a company with very little revenue," Schmidt said while being questioned by Stuart Jay Baskin, a Viacom attorney. "(YouTube was) growing quickly with user adoption, growing much faster than Google Video, which was the product that Google had. And they had indicated to us that they would be sold, and we believed that there would be a competing offer--because of who Google was--paying much more than they were worth...We ultimately concluded that $1.65 billion included a premium for moving quickly and making sure that we could participate in the user success in YouTube."