Yahoo said to be showing interest in buying Hulu

Steven Loeb · May 8, 2013 · Short URL:

With the Dailymotion deal dead, Yahoo still in the market for a video site

With the deal between Yahoo and Dailymotion all but dead (at least for now), it seems that Yahoo has already moved in its quest to purchase a video site.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and top executives at Hulu have already begun meeting and talking to each other about a possible acquisition, according to report from AllThingsD on Tuesday. 

Hulu, which is owned by Fox Broadcasting, NBCUniversal and Disney-ABC, has been rumored to be for sale for a while now and Yahoo is “in the process,” sources said, though no formal bid has so far been made.

The company will, of course have some competition for the site, including Former News Corp. COO Peter Chernin; Guggenheim Partners, which is led by former Yahoo interim CEO Ross Levinsohn, the man that Mayer replaced; and Amazon.

Yahoo's desire to expand its video capabilities is well known. The company was recently in deep talks to purchase online video website Dailymotion, even going so far as to even sign a provisional deal to buy control of the online-video website from France Télécom SA.

Yahoo was set to purchase up to 75% of the company, which is valued at $300 million, but the deal was scuttled by the French government, when it stepped in and attempted to renegotiate the terms of the deal, offering Yahoo a chance to buy a stake in the company without having majority control, an offer which Yahoo declined. 

Dailymotion is the 12th largest video website in the world, garnering 116 million by unique users in January, according to comScore. Dailymotion ranks as the number 22 among video websites by unique viewers in the United States.

The purchase of Dailymotion would have been the first big deal for Mayer. Since she took over as CEO in July of last year, Yahoo has made small purchases and acqu-hires, including Stamped, the Justin Bieber-backed mobile app that lets users “stamp” and share their favorite restaurants, movies, books, and music; and OnTheAir, a video chat service that can be used for casual hangouts or to organize largish webinars

In February, Yahoo purchased location discovery app Alike, and then, earlier this month, Yahoo acqu-hired the team at personalized recommendation service Jybe, giving the company both a location service, and now a team with knowledge in personalized recommendations. Most recently the company bought news summarizer Summly.

A purchase like Dailymotion or Hulu would really allow Mayer to put her mark on the company and make it competitive against Google and YouTube, which currently dominate the space.

Yahoo recently purchased the rights to all 38 season of Saturday Night Live content, including select musical performances from the show's history; making-of and behind-the-scenes clips; and a selection of dress rehearsal clips.

A spokesperson for Hulu declined to comment, and Yahoo has not responded to Vator's request for further information.

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