The annual conference for media executives held by the investment bank Allen & Co. this week is expected to provide further fuel to media industry deal-making. Executives are visiting Sun Valley, Idaho, where the bank gathers industry leaders each summer, and online video is expected to be top of mind for many attendees.
Hulu--the online video site owned by Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), News Corp. (NYSE: NWSA) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS)--is the largest of the online video assets for sale at the moment. Final bids in that auction were said to have been last week, though no deal has been announced yet.
Observers say much of the recent and expected merger-and-acquisition activity has been fueled by rising online competition. "Growing competition from the Internet is requiring more investment," Needham & Co. analyst Laura Martin told Bloomberg Businessweek. "We expect consolidation in distribution and with content."
This year's conference is expected to draw Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) CEO Tim Cook as well as the typical lineup of media company chiefs and private equity and venture capital investors.
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