One of these six companies will buy YouTube

All the buzz around video site YouTube indicates that the closely-held company could have a market value of around $1 billion.Given those numbers, it is only natural to crystal-ball YouTube's future: private, IPO, acquired, acquirer?

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All the buzz around video site YouTube indicates that the closely-held company could have a market value of around $1 billion.

Given those numbers, it is only natural to crystal-ball YouTube's future: private, IPO, acquired, acquirer?

To me, there are only six candidates with the business model and deep pockets to buy YouTube whole. Let me count down these five, in order of suitability:

6- Adobe- This would be a stretch, but Adobe does make the Flash format that YouTube employs for most of their videos. Such a purchase would be a fantastic promotional platform for Flash, as well as Adobe's suite of video editing tools.

5- Time Warner- AOL would be a great distribution platform, and YouTube videos could be integrated with other AOL content properties. 

4- Sony-They are the premier company in the content distribution AND the video hardware space. Oh, and as does Time Warner, they also own a movie studio. Think of MySpace contests,with the winner getting short film rights.

3- Google- Google's videos are receiving signficant promotion, and the addition of YouTube would help there as well. Also, consider what the integration of Google's search utilities and YouTube content could offer.

2- NewsCorp.- I think of YouTube and MySpace as natural allies to add a video dimension to the world's top social networking site. NewsCorp and Fox also have significant cross-platform media distribution as well. 

But if I were YouTube and had offers from all of the companies I mentioned, here is the one that would make the most sense:

1- Yahoo!- One word. Flickr. They already have the blue-chip photo sharing site. I have to think many, if not most Flickr-posters have a digital camcorder as well. So why not? And Yahoo!., you could syndicate YouTube content as well! 

Also-rans: Viacom, Microsoft, Apple.  

But I still think Yahoo! would be the most logical acquirer.

What do you think?