Opinion: Will Apple Hijack Amazon's Move For Netflix?

Amazon could be mulling over plans to acquire Netflix as a streaming business separate from its DVD-by-mail service, that's a theory that many in the US financial community are backing.

According to Larry Dignan from ZDNet, some analysts are so convinced that they have updated Netflix' shares from underperform to outperform despite the company losing hundreds of thousands of subscribers as it changed its pricing structure.

Spinning off the Netflix DVD business, as a separate company from the streaming business could apparently encourage Amazon to buy the latter in order to significantly increase the size of its content library (by up to three times according to some estimates).

But there's always the possibility that Apple may decide to upstage Amazon by starting a bidding war and using its huge cash reserves to buy a rival and partner; Amazon may back off pretty quickly because of the price and because it already has Lovefilm in Europe.

Back in October 2010, the Wall Street Journal put forward this idea via its resident corporate matchmaker, Deal Yanta. Back then, Netflix had a market capitalisation of $8.7 billion, nearly a year later, this has fallen to around $6.8 billion, comfortably within Apple's reach.

More importantly, adding Netflix to its portfolio would give Apple more leverage when discussing terms and conditions with entertainment companies, as it has proved it in the past with iTunes. And one more reason for Apple to buy Netflix? Android support. Getting Netflix would nix an important provider of legal content for Google's mobile platform.