updated 11:55 pm EDT, Sun October 9, 2011
Yahoo rumored jumping ship from Hulu deals
Yahoo is reportedly out of the increasingly uncertain bidding process for Hulu, a claimed leak said late Sunday. The search engine has allegedly been identified by the WSJ sources as the original mystery bidder but also to have exited entirely. The internal turmoil following Carol Bartz' firing and the possibility of a sell-off were attributed to the departure.
Other widely known candidates, Amazon, Dish Network, and Google, are still believed to be in the running. The first two were said to have bid between $1.5 billion to $2 billion, with Dish having originally bid $1.9 billion. Google has previously been mentioned as having special conditions in return for a much higher bid, likely as part of its push to make YouTube like TV.
Hulu is still rumored to be wavering on whether or not it will sell at all. If it does, though, a deal could happen within a matter of weeks, according to the tips. The deal comes with a large amount of potential baggage, such as studios loathe to give too much support to anyone that would endanger more lucrative traditional TV business. The site is partly backed by Disney, Fox, and NBCUniversal, and their consent would be critical to any deal.
None of the involved parties have agreed to comment on the rumors, although it's public knowledge that Hulu is up for sale.