Hulu expecting first bids for its sale next week

The Hulu TV show and movie streaming video service has been putting the "For Sale" sign up for a little while now as other companies have been circling to possibly secure the company. Now AllThingsD.com is reporting that Hulu will actually be taking bids from the interested buyers sometime next week. The article adds that the current owners of Hulu are looking for the bids to be at least $1.5 billion or higher.

Some of the companies that have been rumored to be interested in buying Hulu include Yahoo, Google, Apple, DirecTV, Amazon, Verizon and AT&T. Microsoft was also a possible bidder but reportedly pulled out of the talks early. Currently Hulu is co-owned by the parent companies of Fox, NBC and ABC along with Providence Equity. This week's article speculates that one of the current owners could hang on to their part of Hulu which could bring the sale price down.

In related news, Hulu announced earlier this week that it would be expanding its service to Japan. It will be the first time that Hulu will be found outside of North America. Details of what the Japanese service will include have yet to be released (although we suspect lots of those crazy game shows will be available). Hulu said, "We believe Japan is a vibrant market for premium video content distribution online, and are committed to our Japanese service for the long-term. We have opened offices in Tokyo, with a dedicated Japanese team designing and running the service, and are hard at work finalizing preparations for launch later this year."

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