Legal Love: Google and Viacom Are Sort of Pals

July 1, 2010

I admire the brand of capitalism that makes America the nation state it is. Cornelius Vanderbilt left a rich legacy. He made pals with a few folks and the outsiders had an opportunity to find a new future. Perhaps history will repeat itself. Instead of Vanderbilt & Drew, today’s version will be Google & Viacom.

Navigate to “Viacom Fights YouTube in Court but that Won’t Stop It from Selling YouTube Ads.” For me, the most important comment was:

Google and Viacom are still fighting in court. But in the real world, they’re about to be partners, in a way: The cable network’s MTV unit is going to start selling ads on Google’s YouTube, via a new deal that makes it the sales rep for Warner Music Group’s (WMG) videos.

In the tough love world of billionaires, what’s a friendly dust up in court? Maybe it is a way to get to know one another, sort of a date between two testosterone charged outfits? My hunch is that it makes economic sense for the companies to be pals. The rumor that the lawsuit was triggered because Viacom’s top dog was not treated with respect by a laptop punching Googler and a roller blade equipped wizard. No hard evidence about that myth, no matter how enticing the visuals.

The reality is that money is to be had. Like Corny, the money is more important than the people with whom one fraternizes to get that money. Remember Nicaragua in the 1850s? Yikes.

Stephen E Arnold, July 1, 2010



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