News Corp COO Chase Carey said during the company’s conference call Wednesday that the ongoing Hulu auction is “progressing largely as planned,” but for the most part streaming-video site co-owners News Corp, Disney, Comcast and Providence Equity Partners have been mum about the sale process. Today come reports that shed a little light: AllThingsD quotes sources saying that the auction closes at the end of next week and that bids of “at least” $1.5 billion are expected. That doesn’t fully jibe with a Bloomberg report last month that said Apple was pondering an offer that could come to more than $2 billion. The discrepancy could be due to questions about exactly what’s for sale: News Corp owns the website, which the might want to hold onto; the current ownership group could retain a stake, which could drive down the price; and the new owners might want to extend current content agreements, which also could affect the final price. Meanwhile, Yahoo, Amazon, Google and Microsoft also are thought to be considering bids. Stay tuned.
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