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Google could acquire Hulu

Google is preparing to bid for US online videos service Hulu, according to various press reports.

The search engine giant, which is starting to build an online TV presence via its YouTube video site, is in early talks to acquire Hulu, people familiar with the situation said. This follows earlier reports that Google rival Yahoo had approached Hulu with a view to buying the company, which is owned by News Corp, Disney and NBC Universal as well as private-equity investor Providence. This prompted Hulu to look into its options and hire Morgan Stanley and Guggenheim Partners to explore opportunities.

Google’s YouTube site has been gearing up to offer more TV-like services. It recently signed deals with Warner Bros, Sony Pictures and Universal to offer a movie streaming service in the US. The site has also recently launched You Tube Live, its first dedicated streaming channel.