According to All Things Digital, Hulu is still pondering and discussing the various bids placed by interested new owners. These companies include Yahoo!, Amazon, DirecTV, and Google. But it seems Google is playing by its own set of auction rules, offering a much higher number than any of the other bidders in exchange for something more than Hulu is offering.
Yahoo, Amazon, & DirecTV are all said to have bid between $1.5-$2 billion to purchase Hulu. And that purchase would apparently come with Hulu, Hulu Plus, and 2 years of exclusive content rights.
All Things Digital speculates that Google might be after much more than 2 years for content licenses, because they've bid more than the others–perhaps as much as $1 or $2 billion more. Yikes.
There's even a juicy quote from an anonymous source that suggests Google's mountain of money is giving Hulu executives reason to think twice:
Since that's not what Hulu's owners have put on the table, "normally we would have thrown people out if they'd said that," says an executive familiar with the sales process. But Google "indicated that there's enough money" involved so that Hulu's owners are at least thinking about continuing the discussion.
I tend to take these kinds of information leaks with a grain of salt, simply because there's no way for readers to verify what's being said. But Google has been one of the top contenders mentioned in the Hulu race since it began.
I've said before that Google's interest in Hulu is likely tied mostly to the site's content licensing agreements, which YouTube doesn't have. Yet. And this bit of information about the humongous bid seems to corroborate that theory. I wonder if Hulu will even stick around if Google is the eventual buyer, or if they'll just shut it down and send everyone to YouTube.
Do you think Hulu will be swayed by the cash to cough up more in the licensing department? Do you think Google buying Hulu makes sense?
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