Entertainment Web site Hulu sale canceled

July 13, 2013 at 2:07 PM
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LOS ANGELES, July 13 (UPI) -- Owners of U.S. entertainment provider Hulu said they were pulling the Web site off the market and would invest $750 million into the business.

NBCUniversal, Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc. had been seeking to sell the Web site for months, in part because of disagreements about what direction to take the company. The Los Angeles Times reported Saturday the owners announced they would pump $750 million into the business to allow it a better chance in competing with rival Netflix Inc.

This is the second time Hulu has been put up for sale and the second time it has been taken off the market, the Times said.

In the latest attempt at a sale, The Hollywood Reporter said Saturday the bidders on Hulu included DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and ATT&T, with Peter Chernin, the chief executive officer and chairman of the Chernin Group, an investment firm.

Offers were in the $1 billion range, but that helped the owners realize they were dealing with an asset with more potential than they had realized, the Reporter said.

"It's better to have a potentially disruptive tool like Hulu in your own hands than it is to give it to someone else, who might chose to work it against you," said industry analyst James McQuivey at Forrester Research. "Given its evolutionary potential, it's one that's worth continuing to invest in."

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