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Will Google Buy Hulu? Rumors Are Flying

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Will Google snap up the premium online video destination Hulu? That rumor, started by a Los Angeles Times article, has kicked up a flurry of interest that Hulu will soon change hands.

The L.A. Times reports that Yahoo started the activity by making an offer to acquire Hulu. Hulu then opened discussions with a wider group. The Wall Street Journal reports that talks have been going on for two weeks and include eight to ten possible buyers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google.

Hulu's owners are "committed to selling," said Disney CEO Bob Iger to the Wall Street Journal. Hulu is currently owned by NBC Universal, Fox News Corp., Disney ABC, and Providence Equity Partners.

Despite the headlines, there's no indication that Google is the leading suitor. However, it may have the will and resources to spend more. Google purchased YouTube for $1.64 billion in November, 2006.

As comScore has repeatedly shown, Google is the leading video destination online (thanks to YouTube), but Hulu leads for video ads. In May, 2011, Hulu showed 1.3 billion video ads, much higher than the next ad server (Tremor Video, with 700.8 million views). Purchasing Hulu would give Google an important source of video ad sales.

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