Apple certainly has enough cash on hand to buy Hulu (about 35 times over), and if successful in its bid Apple would gain a huge foothold in video media services. Put together with iTunes, an Apple-Hulu deal would be a serious competitor for Netflix.
Other entities interested in buying Hulu include Google, Yahoo, and AT&T (shudder). Microsoft has dropped out of the bidding, and Bloomberg's sources say Amazon is unlikely to bid unless it gets guaranteed access to shows. Several of the media companies associated with Hulu are offering a five-year extension of program rights that includes a two-year exclusive deal, so it's a very lucrative target for all interested. Hulu went up for sale last month, and Yahoo reportedly made a US$2 billion bid for it already.
Whoever buys Hulu, I have just two requests:
- Make the service available to the roughly six billion humans who don't live in the United States.
- Like John Gruber says, get rid of the Flash-centric interface.