updated 10:25 pm EDT, Tue July 19, 2011
Microsoft decides against next Hulu buyout bidding
Microsoft has quit the bidding process on Hulu, sources disclosed Tuesday. The Windows developer had dropped out of the second round for unknown reasons. Bloomberg in getting the tip was told Microsoft hadn't shut out the possibility of going back in later.
None of the parties involved would comment on the claims.
Hulu has been shopping itself around since a mystery buyout offer and has been courting many of the bigger players in the industry. Amazon, Facebook, and Google have been some highlights and joined by TV carriers such as AT&T and Verizon looking for a streaming complement to their IPTV. Very little of their motivations and terms have escaped the talks, but Yahoo would pay $2 billion in return for a four- or five-year exclusive.
Amazon, which would be looking to boost its Instant Video, is believed to want at least a guarantee that Hulu's TV network deals will carry over.
Microsoft already has Hulu Plus access on the Xbox 360 but would have numerous incentives to get the service, including limiting its access on competing platforms, lowering the cost on its own platforms, or integrating it more deeply into its lineup, including in Windows Phone where it has no presence. The Redmond-based firm sells TV shows through the Zune Video Marketplace but has no equivalent to Netflix or a standout feature that would have someone use the Zune service over iTunes.