Google sets aside $200 million in YouTube deal

Google could be preparing to fight copyright lawsuits related to its acquisition of YouTube by setting aside over $200 million in escrow for a year. In a statement Monday announcing the completion of its purchase of YouTube, Google said "12.5 percent of the equity issued and issuable in the transaction will be subject to escrow for one year to secure certain indemnification obligations."

Google chief Executive Eric Schmidt last week denied a rumor that the company had set aside nearly $500 million of the purchase price to cover copyright-related legal costs.

The value of the all-stock deal has risen to nearly $1.8 billion from $1.65 billion at the time it was announced in October.

Google that it faces copyright claims after the closing of the YouTube deal.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that "the escrow account's existence means YouTube's former owners--a small group led by co-founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim and Sequoia Capital--may never receive a substantial portion of the Google stock if YouTube runs into legal trouble or incurs other losses."

YouTube has already by a company with a similar Web address, UTube.com.

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