The rumor that the companies were in talks was enough to send Netflix’s stock soaring yesterday. The rumor is still kicking around this morning and neither company has offered comment. It’s certainly not a crazy notion, especially considering the recent fumbles Netflix has had with the failed spinoff of the DVD business and the clunky rollout of a partial rate increase. It’s ripe for the plucking. But if it’s really on the market, I could think of a lot of other companies that would be interested since Netflix really dominates home streaming and, as much as it still matters, DVD rentals. Wouldn’t Amazon want to buy it? Microsoft? Google? Hell, Facebook? Not so much for the revenue, although that’s nice, but the data of what people watch is incredibly valuable.
Verizon was making ripples already amid reports that it wants to get into streaming as well, possibly by teaming up with Redbox. But just buying the red envelope would be a huge shortcut.