Could Apple acquire Netflix sometime in 2018? A new report suggests that the chances of such a deal happening have recently increased. For the last few months of 2017, one of the biggest stories dominating the landscape of pop culture was the massive deal being brokered that would allow Disney to purchase a large portion of 21st Century FOX. That deal of course ended up being made, and will now go through the long process required to get government approval for such a huge sale.
While 2018 just began, it looks like the next big entertainment industry sale might involve the purchase of streaming giant Netflix by insanely profitable electronics maker Apple. Apple is one of the most financially successful companies in the entire world, so it's definitely feasible that they could put together the capital required to buy the biggest player in the subscription streaming world. That said, Netflix clearly has other considerations in mind beside the sheer size of a buyout offer, as Disney was reportedly interested in buying them in the past, and the inability to get that deal done is said to have played a factor in the House of Mouse's decision to instead pursue FOX.
According to a new report by Business Insider, Citi analysts now consider a purchase of Netflix by Apple in 2018 to be an increasingly likely possibility. A big reason for this is the tax bill passed by congress and then signed into law by President Donald Trump near the end of 2017. That legislation provides a large corporate tax cut, and also allows for "a one-time allowance for companies to repatriate cash stored overseas without worrisome hits." Said provision could enable Apple to bring some of its estimated $252 billion in overseas holdings back to the U.S. to use in purchasing another large company like Netflix.
That all said, it's important to note that the aforementioned analysts still only consider a sale of Netflix to Apple in 2018 to be about 40 percent likely at this point. While that's certainly a higher predicted likelihood than at other previous points where a potential Apple/Netflix purchase has been speculated about in the press, it's still far from a guarantee. Still, a lot could change before the end of the year. After all, who saw Disney buying FOX coming back in January of 2017?
If Apple does indeed end up buying Netflix, one wonders if they would attempt to combine the popular streaming service with their existing iTunes infrastructure, or instead keep the two services separate. Apple recently announced plans to invest heavily in original content in 2018, including an upcoming reboot of the 80s anthology series Amazing Stories. It's still unclear where that show - or future Apple original programs - will be made available, but buying Netflix would definitely provide them with a solid avenue for distribution.