Microsoft To Hulu: No Thanks

Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEO

Photo: Dan Frommer, Business Insider

Microsoft has said it’s not interested in buying Hulu, leaving Yahoo as the most likely front-runner.Bloomberg reports that Microsoft participated in early discussions, but told Hulu last week that it wasn’t interested in entering a second round of talks. It might re-enter bidding later.

The Bloomberg report says that more than 10 companies have been approached by Hulu as possible buyers, including Google and AT&T, but it’s not clear how serious any of them are. Hulu started shopping itself around last month, and Yahoo is interested in buying the company for $2 billion — but only if it could get exclusive rights to all TV content on the service for four to five years.

Then again, with Yahoo’s weak earnings report today, maybe a big acquisition is just what the company needs to get investors excited again.

Microsoft could have used Hulu to deliver exclusive TV content through Xbox Live. The company is in talks with cable and TV providers to provide live TV through the Xbox service, however, so the Hulu deal would seem kind of redundant. Microsoft already has a long-standing deal with Netflix for streaming movies through Xbox Live.

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