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Who Wins When Google's YouTube App Leaves Apple Devices?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple (APPL) sucker punched Google (GOOG) again -- at least if you believe a lot of media coverage about the latest turn in the hair-pulling fight between the two Silicon Valley giants.

Apple released a test version of its coming iOS 6 operating system for iPhones and iPads without Google's YouTube app, which has been there from the start and, at least according to some media accounts, left the spurned Google struggling to react. The five-year deal will expire without renewal.

In a headline, Gizmodo referred to Apple "ditching" Google. Computer World deployed the terms "drops" and "dumps" -- again, speaking of Google as the one left standing at the altar.

But did Google want the deal to die too? After all, the ancient agreement (five-years is a literal lifetime in smartphones and tablets) meant the Apple-controlled YouTube app was apparently run passive-aggressively. It was outdated. There were no advertisements.

CNET asked pointedly in a headline: "Who killed YouTube on the iPhone -- Apple or Google?"

It concluded: "Here's the truth: both sides wanted this deal to end. Apple wanted to purge itself of Google's influence from its devices, and Google wanted to run ads. Now both sides will get what they wanted all along."

Forbes, too, did a good job of framing Google as more than a sob sister, with an article called: "Why Google May Be Secretly Happy That Apple's Dropping Its YouTube App," which posited that YouTube will still be available on iPhones and iPads with a Google-created app that will have copious updates and advertisements.

At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.

For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

Fuchs appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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