While the online video world continues to wait for news on the potential acquisition of streaming video site Hulu, there's not much left for the web's journalists to do but speculate. The latest theory gaining some ground is the idea that Hulu's buyer won't end up being Google, Amazon, DirecTV, or Yahoo… but a separate contender altogether… Apple.
Could Apple be in the hunt for Hulu? In this article from Mark Hustvedt at Tubefilter, there is a compelling case to believe they might be, citing how Apple removed TV rentals from iTunes last week, and how indirectly, Steve Jobs is Hulu's top shareholder. This article from Bill Palmer at Beatweek Magazine is pondering the same possibility, mostly due to the hush-hush TV rental removal.
How is this, you might ask? Well, it comes down to Jobs' involvement with Pixar back in the day. When Disney bought Pixar 5 years ago, Jobs got a significant piece of Disney in return. Seeing as how Disney is one of Hulu's partners, Jobs himself may have the most stake of any individual in Hulu.
I'm not sure how Jobs' resignation as CEO of Apple throws a monkey-wrench into this hypothesis. But considering how Jobs will likely still have a lot of say into what the company does even after he's gone, it's not entirely unreasonable to think business decisions of this sort might still be determined with his influence.
It's all speculation at this point, but it's something to ponder in the next few days as Hulu's sale is imminent.