Report: Hulu considers sale after receiving buyout offer

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Yesterday rumors started circulating that video streaming website Hulu may be considering its options after a potential buyer approached it with an unsolicited offer.

Although the company has not confirmed this, today the LA Times is reporting that the mystery suitor is Yahoo, but Hulu's board of directors has not met to consider any offers.

In a separate report, TechCrunch's Michael Arrington cites his own source close to Yahoo who claims there haven't been any meaningful conversations about a buyout between the two, but Hulu is indeed actively looking for a buyer and has hired Morgan Stanley to represent them. Representatives from Hulu and its parent companies News Corp., NBC Universal and Disney declined to comment on the rumors.

The balance between of its owner's "old media" interests and Hulu's nature as a new media company is often viewed as an obstacle when it comes to decision-making. A buyout could consolidate control of Hulu under a single entity and help it focus its strategy better, but negotiating with content providers and keeping them happy might prove even more difficult than it already is as these companies pursue their own streaming plans.

Whether Hulu is definitely considering buyout offers remains unclear with no official confirmation -- and we assume one will only come if an offer is accepted.

Rumors of a possible buyout come as Hulu faces mounting competition from fast-growing rivals such as Amazon and Netflix, which has more than 22 million paying subscribers in the U.S. But Hulu isn't doing too bad itself. Company executives have said Hulu is on its way to pulling in $500 million in revenue over 2011, while the service's user base continues to grow with over 27 million visitors a month coming to the site.

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