How a cop almost kiboshed the Google-YouTube deal

Google's purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion last year birthed the current climate of Valley exuberance. Without that purchase, it's hard to imagine seeing, for instance, Facebook valued at a lofty $15 billion. But we hear that the deal hit one last-minute, off-the-wall snag.

It's common knowledge that the deal between YouTube and Google was consummated at a nondescript Denny's restaurant in Redwood City. What hasn't been told is that David Drummond, pictured above, Google's head of corporate development, and Gideon Yu, then YouTube's CFO, now Facebook's, spent the night hashing out the deal in the restaurant. They then began signing the term papers in Denny's parking lot around 3 a.m.

A local police officer was patrolling the area at that same moment. The cop saw the Asian-American Yu and African-American Drummond, dressed casually in jumpsuits and baseball hats — standard uniforms for late and long negotiations — huddled over the hood of a car signing the paperwork. He pulled into the parking lot, drove towards the men, turned his spotlight on the duo and started suspiciously questioning their actions through the loudspeaker of his police cruiser. The two men, startled, had to explain to the officer that they were at the cusp of a major business deal — and not the kind of deal the officer might have first imagined.

After several minutes of interrogation, Yu and Drummond satisfied the officer that they were, indeed, top executives at Google and YouTube. He finally backed off — and Yu and Drummond proceeded to ink the deal that changed the Valley.