updated 07:40 pm EST, Tue December 13, 2011
Verizon may try to take over Netflix
A claim from Mediatech Capital managing partner Porter Bibb late Tuesday maintained that Verizon was "very serious" about buying Netflix. Fueling earlier rumors, he explained to Bloomberg that sources inside Verizon wanted either Netflix or "something similar." Bidding was underway with unnamed competitors that Bibb heard could see a sale before Easter for an estimated $4.6 billion.
Neither Netflix nor Verizon has commented on the prospects. On December 7, CEO Lowell McAdam provided support to rumors of some form of Internet video service by saying that he wanted the company to move beyond FiOS TV into streaming. Most believe it would be a way to give Verizon DSL subscribers or even non-Verizon customers access to movies and TV shows on a Verizon service.
Whether or not Netflix would be receptive is uncertain, if not doubtful. Verizon allegedly belives that it's unfair Netflix and others don't share their profits despite the practice being rare anywhere else on the Internet. Verizon wouldn't necessarily get any more profit if Netflix was just an internal division.
Other concerns would include competitive issues. Content providers might be reluctant to see the largest US paid Internet video service under the control of a provider that might try to limit who can access it. It could also raise anti-competitive problems by trying to steer users to much costlier FiOS TV.