The fight to acquire Hulu has been a long (though not particularly bloody) one. It now looks as though either Google or Dish Networks will emerge victorious. That is, if News Corp., Walt Disney, Comcast, and Providence Equity don’t change their minds at the last minute.
Hulu For Sale… Still
Hulu has been up for sale since the end of June (it feels like longer), with the present owners inviting bids for the company, its technology, and exclusive rights to the content for two years. After that, who knows.
The list of potential buyers has slowly been whittled down, and it looks like two have now made it to what could, and really should, be the final hurdle. Then again, all of this is just rumor from ’sources’ that may or may not be real and may or may not know what they’re talking about.
Google vs. Dish?
The latest news comes via two sources talking to Business Insider. They claim that Dish Networks placed the highest bid (of $1.9 billion) which accepted the conditions laid down by Hulu’s current owners. However, Google, as we have already discussed, made an audacious bid worth $4 billion which is reliant on the content deal being extended beyond the two years, as well as other concessions.
Hulu was hoping to receive bids in excess of $2 billion, so is currently mulling over the options. The suggestion is that all bidders realized what was on the table wasn’t as compelling as first thought due to the lack of guarantees over what happens at the end of the second year.
When all is said and done, at this stage everything is still up in the air. Completely. Hulu could become an asset of Google, or it could become an asset of Dish Network, the auction could be reopened with different condition attached, or the current owners could decide not to sell at all in the end.
My guess is still Google, as it has been for a while, but I certainly wouldn’t put any money on it at this stage.
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