The Netflix buyout battle: Apple vs. Time Warner

“In the continuing battle to see who will buy Netflix, we enter into the bottom half of our eight team tournament, with Google and Amazon already scoring victories, it’s time to see which of the following companies will join them in the ‘Final Four,'” Richard Birecki writes for The Motley Fool.

“For the bottomless pockets which Apple has, they have shown remarkable restraint in buying companies, purchasing only if it met its broader strategy, and I just don’t see Netflix fitting in,” Birecki writes. “Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) certainly has the pipes and the distribution network. They also are the parent company of HBO, whom Reed Hastings describes as his biggest competitor. The content that HBOGo streams is pretty much untouchable, and I don’t foresee them sharing the rights to it with anyone. In trying to model HBO, as I mentioned above, Netflix is producing its own shows. I’m positive HBO execs will be watching.”

Birecki writes, “It’s one of those situations where HBO is off limits, but Netflix isn’t. I was often frustrated that I wasn’t able to stream Curb Your Enthusiasm, and I’m sure I’m not the only consumer who would willingly pay a little extra for HBOGo + all the Netflix content. There then, is my argument that it simply makes more sense for Netflix to be acquired by Time Warner at this juncture than it does Apple.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. If Apple where interested they could buy HBO and/or Netflix. Either or both are pocket change but I suspect Apple’s vision is much bigger than content creation.

    1. Nope – you can not just buy a company out, plus, Apple does not spend foolishly – I believe Apple is chasing something else – I do not see Apple producing TV shows rather host a pipe to provide content – if TIme Warner and others have a bigger pipe for content and are also planning to produce tv shows – Apple will wait and see if it can acquire the bigger picture.

      1. Yes you can, it’s called a hostile takeover. The problem with buying HBO is that Apple would have to buy TimeWarner, and Apple would never want that albatross.

        Plus, Apple is not into content development. That is too risky of a business. Apple is into consumer electronic hardware sales, with support services designed to make the hardware irrisistible.

  2. Unless your a HD/BluRay purist, Netflix is fine with their DD/HD PQ. Content sucks. Wish Apple/iTunes has something similar like Netflix unlimited streaming.

    1. But cable and the networks can only produce repetitious drivel that can only entertain brain dead newts. So far, Netflix and Hulu are showing the ability to produce shows that do not make intelligent adults vomit. It’s a start!

  3. In a couple of years both Netflix & HBO will just be apps on our AppleTVs. We’ll forgot they ever had other distribution models.

    That’s not a bad thing. Look at Instagram. Not bad being a popular iOS app these days, is it?

    Imagine how much HBO would bring in if they had 100,000,000 direct subscribers around the world, each paying them $4.99/month.

    Look how much Apple’s 30% would be worth.

    Why buy a Netflix or an HBO if you don’t have to?

      1. Buy disney and you get its subsidiaries, ABC, ESPN, Pixar, Touchstone, Buena Vista, along with all their libraries. How about a season subscription to your favorite football team through ESPN? Or a subscription to a full NASCAR season on ABC? Want to stream 70 years worth of Disney cartoons for the kids? Movies? TV shows?

        1. Agreed. I believe you are exactly right. Apples eyes are on Disney that makes very very good sense and is really a nice move.

          Thx to explain Zeke

        2. Will never happen. Apple doesn’t need to buy content creators/providers because Apple can simply contract with them. All Apple needs to do is continue creating the premier consumer electronic devices that people demand to view their content on, and the content creators will have no choice but to deal with Apple.

          If Apple buys Disney or Netflix, Apple then has to continue running the companies and make decisions on content. Creating content is risky (see Disney and “John Carter”). The potential for losses is huge, and then you have to deal with actors, directors, musicians, etc. and their PITA demands.

          No, Apple is in the driver’s seat as far as content delivery. Once the revamped AppleTV is released, Apple will have a stranglehold on the content market and consumer demand to have content available for Apple devices will force content providers to deliver content through Apple.

        3. What Apple really needs to find a way around is the dumb pipe delivery system that is literally strangling content delivery. I’d love to see them buy Clearwire (WiMax)/Sprint and begin to bypass all the cable/satellite providers.

  4. I like Netflix for these reasons.

    – one low price of 7.99 a month
    – watch as much as i wish
    – when i wish and
    – and it is instant
    – no waiting for downloads
    – I enjoy a good story over quality any day

    iTV is a simple machine…
    but Apple rented movies are streamed in better quality most times then NetFlix – That’s right much better but if i do not like the movie, sorry – already paid – just continue to watch or you lose your money. On average a rental is as much as one month from iTunes as is Netflix – so its older releases but there is always something to see.

    NOW – if Apple was to buyout Netflix I wouldn’t be unhappy so long as Apple kept the same structure and pricing. Without a cable strategy this is a good idea for Apple. There is new competition, Google Movies and Cinema Now. If Google decides to buyout Cinema now or Netflix Apple better start smartening up and offer something similar.

  5. I don’t really get this buy “netflix’ thing. the TECHNOLOGY that Netlix has doesn’t seem that impressive, it’s the content.

    Apple’s main problem with TV, movies is getting content.
    Media execs have said they will not let Apple dominate TV, movies like the do music with iTunes (iTunes is the largest music retailer in the world).

    Netflix now has more content than apple but if Apple bought Netflix, the content guys will just stop giving content to Netlix, so back to square one for Apple.

    1. Netflix’s streaming content is really not much different than Apple’s selection. Plus Apple wants nothing to do with DVD deliveries. It makes far more sense for Apple to spend its money developing an AppleTV which is a Must Have for all consumers, then content providers will have to make their content available on Apple TV.

      It’s coming, the content providers just need more time to see that they have no real choice. Unfortunately, they’re stuck in their traditional, advertising-based revenue and delivery models.

  6. One of the things that’s problematic about this speculation?Time Warner has pretty much always avoided streaming its most popular content since that would “devalue” it.

    Not to mention the fact that Netflix needs more than one studio to populate its service, and I think the other majors would be more hesitant to get involved if a competitor owns it.

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