Apple’s abundance of available cash is certainly no secret. With $76.2 billion in the bank at the end of the June quarter, the company has more money then the gross domestic product of almost two-thirds of the world’s countries. But what will it do with all that cash? Just sit on it in case of an (incredibly) rainy day?
Of course not. To begin with, it may just be about to buy Hulu.
A new report from Bloomberg cites two people “familiar with the auction” who say Apple is currently in talks that could see the Cupertino company make a bid for Hulu.
There are a number of large companies said to be interested in the online video streaming service, including Yahoo, Google and AT&T. Yahoo has reportedly bid $2 billion, but demands a five-year exclusive on current TV shows and older movies. Microsoft was also interested initially, but dropped out of bidding earlier this week.
The winning bidder will receive a five-year extension of program rights, including two years of exclusive access, to content from Disney (where Apple CEO Steve Jobs is a major shareholder), News Corp., and Comcast’s NBC.
Hulu Plus is already available on Apple’s mobile devices with an official iOS app, but if Apple becomes Hulu’s owner, could the service be integrated into the iOS operating system in a manner similar to iTunes and its video rentals?
The service is also available on the Xbox 360, the PlayStation 3 and on smartphones powered by Google’s Android operating system.