MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google has confirmed it is buying YouTube after a weekend of speculation that a deal was imminent. The two companies will continue to operate independently. The website has 100 million videos viewed every day and an estimated 72 million individual visitors each month, although it has yet to make any money.

Cult video-sharing website has agreed to an acquisition offer from Google, said to be in the region of $1.65 billion (€1.31bn; £883m), although both parties are zip-lipped as to price.

Just two weeks ago YouTube's co-founder and ceo Chad Hurley told the Financial Times the company was not interested in putting itself up for sale, adding: "We're just going to continue to build the business on our own."

The current flurry of activity follows reports last week that search rival Yahoo had offered $1bn to buy Facebook, a social networking site for college and high school students.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff