It seems like every month or so there is a rumor about Amazon, Apple, or Microsoft buying Netflix, but the timing of this one is interesting. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings recently resigned from the Microsoft board, and the increasing war for content between Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft would make Netflix a strategic asset for any of these companies.
Eric Savitz from Forbes shares his thoughts on a Microsoft aquisition of Netflix:
While competition has increased, the company still has an iconic brand in streaming video and widespread distribution on almost every conceivable computer and consumer electronics platform: smartphones, tablets, PCs, TVs, Blu-Ray players, blenders. (OK, no blenders.) Microsoft has almost $69 billion in cash and investments. The company could pay 2x the current market cap, and still use less than 10% of the cash. (Although I would point out that a large chunk of that cash is outside the country, and basically inaccessible for U.S. acquisitions.)
Meanwhile, buying Netflix would be in keeping with Microsoft’s revamped philosophy on the Xbox 360, which treats the device more like an entertainment device and less like a video game console. I’d note that Microsoft has a track record here on shopping for Web brands: They paid $8.5 billion for Skype; and of course they tried in vain to buy Yahoo a few years back for an ungodly sum.
I'm wondering if Microsoft would buy Netflix to remove the Netflix service (or limit the features or selection) from Sony, Apple or Google devices to help move people to Microsoft computers, tablets, and phones.
via Home Media Magazine.