It looks like Michael Arrington’s report last night that Google is in talks to acquire YouTube may have been more than what he called “40% likely to be at least partially true.” The Wall St. Journal is reporting this morning that those talks are in fact underway, according to “a person familiar with the matter.” Journal writer Keven Delaney writes that the talks are in early stages and could break off. The Journal reported the same price tag that Michael did earlier, $1.6 billion. Hitwise, by the way, just posted some interesting traffic stats and discussion on Google Video vs YouTube. The gist of it is that YouTube is much bigger and growing faster and that Google sends lots of traffic to YouTube already, reportedly more than anyone but MySpace.
In other Google news, the LA Times is also reporting this morning that top Google executives have told their engineers to stop releasing so many products. The Times says Google’s Sergey Brin is leading an initiative simply and humorously titled “Features not Products.” The initiative began this summer when Brin says he realized that even he was “getting lost in the sheer volume of the products” the company released. If the recent relaunch of the Google Reader is any indication that initiative could result in good things for users.