Hulu Auction Could Be in Trouble

Sep 19, 2011  •  Post A Comment

The possible sale of online-streaming site Hulu is at risk of running aground even as bids continue to come in, Reuters reports.

The news service reports: “Among the issues are conflicts over complicated digital rights, a wide bid-ask gap, and Yahoo being sidelined as a potential buyer by its own issues. Moreover, NBCUniversal’s hiring of Morgan Stanley banker Stuart Epstein, who was involved in the sale process for the bank, as its chief financial officer complicates a potential deal.”

Sources indicate the service’s owners, News Corp., Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp. and Providence Equity Partners, have become lukewarm about selling.

New bids are expected next week, with price expected to be a problem. According to the story: “Sources with knowledge of the talks said an unusually wide gap has developed in recent weeks between the price bidders are offering and what the Hulu owners are willing to accept. Hulu’s owners are becoming more steadfast about the price and feel enough strategic alternatives are available to reject low-ball offers, sources said.”

Bids have reportedly ranged from as low as $500 million to as much as $2 billion. Among the key suitors are Google, Amazon, DirecTV and Dish Network.

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