Google and Apple are understood to be preparing bids to acquire online TV and video service Hulu, which has been courting a number of big media giants in recent months.
Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo! have each been tipped as having an interest in buying Hulu.
The acquisition would complement Google’s recent decision to buy Motorola Mobility for US$12.5bn in terms of the patents it has in terms of TV and home networking technologies, while it would also be a boon for Apple, for which home entertainment and digital TV is effectively its next big market to capture.
A report in the Wall Street Journal today says bids due by Wednesday could range between US$500m and US$2bn for the popular online entertainment site.
Hulu is a joint venture between NBC Universal, Fox Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company and Providence Equity Partners, which has invested US$100m for a 10pc stake.
The service is multi-platform and can be access on a variety of devices from PCs and tablet computers to smartphones and network-enabled Blu-Ray players.