Rumor Has It: Disney Interested In Buying Netflix

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In the world of media companies, the water cooler is always a busy place — and it’s been hopping lately over rumors that Walt Disney Co. is thinking of buying Netflix.

Disney — not just a theme park giant but also the owner of movie studios, cable networks, and broadcast network ABC, among other things — is reportedly considering snapping up another bit of media, MarketWatch reports.

The news comes on the heels of reports that the house of mouse is working on a deal to buy Twitter.

Recent reports that Disney wants to pop Netflix in its shopping basket have sent the streaming company’s shares upward, with a 4.1% increase in active trading on Monday, MarketWatch notes.

But if there is a discussion going on, Netflix isn’t commenting, saying the company doesn’t weigh in on rumors. A Disney spokesperson wasn’t available for comment to MarketWatch, either.

One analyst says a possible Netflix buy wouldn’t be easy to call ahead of time: R.W. Baird analyst William Power wrote in a note to clients that Netflix has been the subject of “recent M&A rumors,” and “whether Disney, Apple or someone else, Netflix could become a target.”

If Disney does decide to snap up Netflix, it’s more than likely that it would be forced to give up its 30% stake in another streaming giant, Hulu, which was launched in 2007 as a joint venture from Disney, Fox, and NBC (now Comcast). Fox and Comcast both own 30%, with newcomer Time Warner scooping up 10% ownership in August.

Netflix deal said to be in Disney’s crosshairs, and it makes perfect sense to analysts [MarketWatch]