Is Google looking to buy Hulu to bolster YouTube?

Summary:It's no secret that Hulu is on the block, but exactly who is looking to buy the online TV service has led to intense speculation. One day Microsoft is the hot candidate; the next day, it's Yahoo.

It's no secret that Hulu is on the block, but exactly who is looking to buy the online TV service has led to intense speculation. One day Microsoft is the hot candidate; the next day, it's Yahoo. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Google is the latest tech giant making overtures to the conglomerate.

There's a pretty obvious reason the search company would be sniffing around Hulu: YouTube. Its video service is insanely popular, but that hasn't endeared it to content companies over the years. Google has had a hard time making money from all the videos it streams, while Hulu is due to make $500 million this year from ads shown during its programming.

Hulu, which includes Disney-ABC, Fox, and NBCUniversal as partners in the venture, decided against going through with an IPO that could have valued the company at $2 billion. Instead, it hired investment banks and extended content deals with Disney and Fox to make itself more attractive to potential buyers.

While Google could use Hulu to bolster YouTube, Microsoft could use it to make its rumored plans for a streaming TV service via its Xbox Live offering more potentially profitable. Yahoo could use it to fit into whatever strategy it's developed for this week, though VentureBeat points out that Hulu CEO Jason Kilar could be in the running to replace current Yahoo chief Carol Bartz.

Which tech company do you think would make the best fit with Hulu? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Mobility, Google, Hardware

About

Sean Portnoy started his tech writing career at ZDNet nearly a decade ago. He then spent several years as an editor at Computer Shopper magazine, most recently serving as online executive editor. He received a B.A. from Brown University and an M.A. from the University of Southern California.

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