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Apple may buy Hulu

by Kelly MacNeil on July 22, 2011

In an effort to grow its ever-expanding technology empire, Apple is looking into purchasing the popular online video service Hulu. Bloomberg reports that the sources close to the company have said that Apple is in early discussions with the website.

The partnership would likely be a smart move as Hulu looks to compete with Netflix, which has currently captured a large swath of Internet users with its large selection of streaming video. The news source reports that Hulu, which is currently owned by Disney, News Corp. and NBC Universal, could go for as much as $2 billion.

The purchase would make sense for Apple, which is currently trying to grow its video services. iTunes users can currently rent current season shows for 99 cents and movies for $4.99. By adding Hulu, Apple would be adding another variation on its ever-expanding collection of video content.

"Part of the ecosystem of Apple’s future is to include more video," Scott Sutherland told the news source. "It's something they are focused on."

Hulu was put up for sale in June after its owners received interest from a number of potential buyers. At the time, it was mulling the possibility of putting forward an IPO, but eventually did not go forward with the plans. Market analysts believed that the IPO could have been worth $2 billion, and the website will likely see around $500 million revenue for 2011.

According The Wall Street Journal, Apple could purchase Hulu with relative ease. The company recently announced its earning and showed that it has an astonishing $76.2 billion in cash, short term securities and long term securities. That is a $10 billion jump in just three months, the Journal reports. 

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