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Yahoo said to be courting Hulu for video unit

With rumors that Hulu may be looking for a new buyer, CEO Marissa Mayer allegedly meets with the video streaming service's execs.

Hulu buyout rumors have popped up over the past few years. Hulu

It's looking like a possible Hulu buyout may be heating up. Reportedly, Yahoo's CEO Marissa Mayer recently met with the video streaming company's corporate owners, according to AllThingsD.

Hulu has been rumored to be looking for a buyer over the past couple of years and recently several companies have allegedly expressed interest. Of those said to have reached out to Hulu's execs are Ross Levinsohn, the former interim Yahoo CEO who now works for Guggenheim Partners. Yahoo and Amazon have also allegedly expressed interest.

Now, it seems like Yahoo may be upping it's pursuit.

It's no secret that Yahoo has been looking to expand its video feature. Not only has it recently expanded its original exclusive programming, but Mayer said Tuesday during the Wired Business Conference that video is important across all of Yahoo's properties, according to AllThingsD.

Hulu buyout rumors have popped up pretty often over the past couple of years. The company's owners, which include Walt Disney and News Corp., put the company up for sale in 2011 but called off the process later that year, saying Hulu "holds a unique and compelling strategic value to each of its owners." Yahoo was one of the interested buyers even back then.

However, since that time, co-owner Providence Equity Partners sold its stake in Hulu, and Comcast's NBC Universal gave up its say in management matters because of regulatory restrictions related to the NBC acquisition. In addition, Hulu CEO Jason Kilar said in January that he would step down in the first quarter.

The remaining owners, Disney and News Corp., have disagreed on Hulu's strategy. News Corp., which owns Fox, would like to see Hulu transition away from ads and become a subscription-only service. Disney prefers a free service supported by ads. Along with speculation about an outside bidder taking over Hulu, there also has been talk that Disney or News Corp. could buy out the other's stake.

When contacted by CNET, both Yahoo and Hulu declined to comment.