Will Apple make a bid for Netflix in Sun Valley this week?

Cash-rich Tim Cook is invited. Hard-hit Netflix is a takeover target. Speculation is rife.

From Jill Goldsmith's "Media Moguls To Gather At Annual Allen & Co. Sun Valley Retreat Amid Streaming Rethink, Economic Woes" posted Saturday in Deadline:

The mountains are as gorgeous as ever, the deal climate not so much as boutique investment bank Allen & Co. prepares to host its annual Sun Valley retreat. After guests arrive on Tuesday, official activities get under way Wednesday...

Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch and COO John Nallen are confirmed. So is Sony Group Corp. CEO Ken Yoshida and Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation. Casey Wasserman and Mike Fries too.

Not all invitees necessarily attend. But Rupert Murdoch is a regular and Bob Chapek — a new three-year contract now in hand — was there last year. Invitees also include tech CEOs, among them Elon Musk, Apple’s Tim Cook, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Andy Jassy and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai. The list features an array of top-of-the-top of media chiefdom – companies that could or do bank with Allen & Co. — and executives from companies that are clients.

By putting execs in close proximity and in khakis, the Sun Valley conference is credited with planting the seeds of mergers – from Disney’s buying CapitalCities/ABC back 1995, to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ acquisition of The Washington Post in 2013...

Netflix is increasingly seen as a takeover target

My take: MacRumors Joe Rossignol nailed it...

The combination of Cook’s attendance and Netflix being seen as an acquisition target will inevitably lead to speculation about Apple buying the streaming media giant. This would instantly make Apple TV+ the biggest name in the streaming video market.

So far, however, there has been little sign that Apple has any interest. The strategy of Apple TV+ has been quality over quantity, with the Cupertino company focusing on original content. It’s also a very low-margin business, which would be a surprising purchase for a company whose margins nudge close to 40%. Stranger things have happened, but any speculation is somewhat on the wilder side.

14 Comments

  1. Greg Bates said:
    No. Apple is quality. Netflix is quantity. Apple does mostly small acquisitions of tech it can control. Netflix would be neither a small acquisition nor controllable tech. The cultures have to fit. There is no fit. Apple sometimes acquires for the talent. But Netflix is too big for that; not enough talent to justify the purchase. It’s cheaper for Apple to poach the talent it wants.

    8
    July 5, 2022
  2. Fred Stein said:
    No.

    Netflix today costs $88B including debt. At acquisition premium, it’s about $110B.

    Apple can build their own library and their own talent pool, for a lot less money and get better quality. They’ve already proven this.

    6
    July 5, 2022
  3. Jerry Doyle said:
    Subscribing to Apple 3.0 and conversing with intelligent like minded Apple aficionados who understand the history, the culture, the administrative staffs, operations, management of the organization affords deep insight into the company’s decision-making of which the media and business news commentators have little to no clue. Anyone who knows Apple as those of us on Apple 3.0 understand Apple and all things Apple can apprehend clearly and with certainty an acquisition of Netflix never will occur. So media and business news talking heads, proceed forth with your commentaries and speculations.

    6
    July 5, 2022
    • S Lawton said:
      Ever consider Apple curation sounds like this
      “Today, we celebrate the first glorious anniversary of the Information Purification Directives. We have created, for the first time in all history, a garden of pure ideology—where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests purveying contradictory thoughts. Our Unification of Thoughts is more powerful a weapon than any fleet or army on earth. We are one people, with one will, one resolve, one cause. “

      1
      July 5, 2022
      • Robert Stack said:
        S Lawton: Upvoted – Clever clever clever! 🙂

        1
        July 5, 2022
  4. Romeo A Esparrago Jr said:
    I wonder what they would talk about if Elon & Tim or Mark Z & Tim bumped into each other and found themselves walking together on the same path there at Sun Valley?

    1
    July 5, 2022
  5. Like the Parsis with their dead, I would prefer Apple pick Netflix apart, piece by piece. A favored production house here, a choice entertainer there. Cherry-pick the productions, poach subscribers with quality, award-winning programming and possibly most major league sports. Even ESPN might need to go long to stay ahead of Apple TV+.

    2
    July 5, 2022
  6. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Apple should keep using their available resources to pick up live sports, notably college football in conjunction with the current changing conference landscape. Which is where they will be picking up select packages IMO. Netflix is a waste of money as Apple is curating their very own shows as Tim Cook set forth at the inception of Apple tv+

    2
    July 5, 2022
    • Fred Stein said:
      Yup, upvoted.

      $110B buys a lots choice cuts, rather than one sick ole’ cow.

      0
      July 5, 2022

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