Google has bought the video sharing website YouTube in a dealbelieved to be worth $1.7bn in stock.

The companies will continue to operate independently. YouTubelaunched in February 2005 and swiftly became one of the most popular sites onthe web with an estimated 70million individual visitors each month.

The acquisition gives Google an entry point into theonline video searching and social networking arenas.

In a statement released yesterday [Oct 9] Google said no YouTubeworkers would lose their jobs, adding that Google would retain its own onlinevideo business.