Buyers potentially interested in Hulu will begin looking at the books in the next couple of weeks, but Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), the company's closest rival, isn't likely to be one of them, according to a published report.
Interested parties have been kicking the tires of the company, which earlier this month began to actively court buyers. Now, said the Wall Street Journal, they'll start doing a deeper dive on the books as owners News Corp., Disney and Comcast's NBCUniversal look to execute their exit strategy.
The Journal, however, said Netflix, which is looking to stream the kind of content Hulu has to offer, won't be taking that next step. It added that Hulu's ownership wasn't keen on selling to Netflix anyway, as they want to continue selling content to as many outlets as possible and consolidating two of their biggest customers would be counterproductive.
That's likely good news to Hollywood studios worried that a merger of the two companies would have produced a more powerful entity. Netflix currently is estimated to have more than 23 million subscribers, making it the largest subscription service in the U.S.
Meanwhile, at least one analyst expects Netflix's content acquisition costs to increase tenfold by 2012, one more reason the company may not be interested in the sale.
- see this WSJ article
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