Hulu’s owners might still consider a sale of the company – or some sort of equity transfer – to Google, a source close to the transaction process tells us.In a press release issued late last night, Hulu’s equity owners News Corporation, Providence Equity Partners, and Disney announced a “decision to terminate the Hulu sale process.”
But the fact is that Hulu might still end up going to Google.
From the beginning of the Hulu sales process, sources told us that Google was “hanging around the hoop” and that Google has “some big arse ideas” for what it can do with Hulu.Since then, these sources have told us that while Hulu suitors like Amazon and DISH Network submitted bids approaching $2 billion, Google bid much more — something in the range of $4 billion.
But that bid came with special conditions, which have been previously reported.
Hulu’s parent companies told suitors that they would sell the site, its subscription service and the rights to exclusive content for at least two years. But Google wants more content for a longer period of time, and perhaps other concessions as well.
rumour has it that Larry Page personally flew down to Los Angeles to make Google’s case.
The source close to the process says that, despite the press release, what Hulu’s parents have actually decided to do is no longer consider a sale of Hulu, the subscription service, and 2-years of rights.
Now they plan to fully consider Google’s offer – or at least figure out some way to give Hulu management and Providence Equity Partners liquidity.
“What [Hulu’s owners] decided was that [they should] stop the process and settle down and deal with everyone’s expectations [for liquidity]. If there were further discussions [wither Google] then we would subsequently engage in that. It wouldn’t be an auction or whatever.”
“The Google thing is not off the table.”
We reached out to Hulu for this story and did not hear back. The YouTube/Google PR guy keeps saying we’re going to get on the phone at some point.
Our sources asked to remain anonymous because they aren’t supposed to be talking to reporters about this whole thing and who wants to get canned?