Hulu Owners Want More Than $2 Billion

carol bartz yahooOK, how about $2,000,000,001?

Photo: AP

If Hulu’s content-creating owners – Disney, Comcast, and News Corp – would agree to give the site a four to five year exclusive licence, Yahoo would buy it for ~$2 billion, a source familiar with Yahoo’s M&A plans tells us.$2 billion is a key figure, because that’s about all the cash Yahoo has on hand at the moment.

So…bad news for Yahoo.

A source on the other side of the deal tells us Hulu’s owners – besides the content companies, there’s also Providence Equity Partners – are looking for a much bigger pot of gold.

$2 billion, says this source, is “way too low.”

This source says all kinds of suitors are stopping to take a look at Hulu: large US based tech companies, International companies that may or may not be tech, and US-based telecom type companies that are currently not really in the content space. AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka has a pretty good run down.

Of course it may turn out that none of these companies want to pay much more than $2 billion either – and then Yahoo will be back in the game.

Some of us at SAI think Google is Hulu’s most obvious buyer. It has wanted to sell premium ads against YouTube’s massive traffic for a while now, but hasn’t been able to line up the right kind of content or create the right kind of silo for advertisers. Hulu would solve both those problems pronto – and Google has plenty of cash to buy it. Others around here think that there’s no way Google gets the deal past anti-trust regulators.

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