After months of speculation, it’s time for the sale of streaming video site Hulu to turn into a bidding war. Six companies have submitted informal bids for the site this week, according to those in the know, including three big names eager to own what could be turned into a Netflix streaming video killer.
Business Insider names Google, Amazon and Yahoo as the three big players among the six companies who have taken the step from “expressing interest” to “making an offer,” although the latter is described by an insider as being “not there yet” when it comes to Yahoo’s commitment to a potential deal—maybe it’s too busy with the New York Times—making it one of the outsiders for the ownership crown.
(MORE: DirecTV Looking to Buy Hulu?)
Amazon is said to be looking at Hulu as a potential vehicle for supplying content to its rumored tablet, as well as taking the Amazon Prime brand into streaming content for television and other devices—the same thing that many assume the company plans to use Lovefilm for, interestingly. Google, meanwhile, is described by someone in the know as having “some big ass ideas” for Hulu and is considered by many to be the frontrunner to win the bidding process, if only because of the amount of money available to spend.
Some rumored buyers didn’t end up submitting bids, however; neither Apple nor Microsoft seemed to see enough value in pursuing Hulu to the point of putting money on the table. And, of course, there’s also the possibility that News Corp. and Disney will decide to hold onto Hulu for themselves and not sell in the first place, especially now that they know who’s standing at the ready to snap the service up. Which is to say, the future of Hulu may be a little bit clearer now that we know who wants to buy it…but only a little bit.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.