Don't get TOO excited yet. The Inquirer spills a lot of rumors, and its credibility is somewhat less because of that. That said, it's not always wrong, and there are some valid reasons why Google might be interested in Valve. Although, you'd think with Android about to launch and Chrome just launched, they might be a little busy. Still, as The Inq says:Well placed sources tell us that Google is going to be buying Valve any second now.
So why would Google, emperor of all things Web-based, want a gaming company? Possibly it's that logo above: Steam. Steam is Valve's highly-successful digital distribution system It's so successful Valve even has other publishers and developers using it, and over 15 million accounts.
That said, it does have its critics, many of whom hate the activation process --- but then, nowadays many applications, even non-game, require some sort of activation (not that that makes it right!).
On the other hand, Steam is more than just downloading a game: it also has social networking pieces (Google Lively, anyone?), and that might fit in well with something like Lively + Steam + ads.
However, place this under "big rumor" --- for now.Update:
So we checked in with Lombardi himself this morning and he put our minds at
ease, telling us it is purely a rumor, a bit of fiction.
With Google out of the picture, I guess the real question is who exactly
would Valve like to buy them.
Of course, they would probably deny it even it was true, but still, seems like, though Valve isn't against a buyout, it's not going to be Google.