Hastings: Netflix 'can make it in the long term'
Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) CEO Reed Hastings has rejected the notion that it would be a benefit to the shareholders if his company was acquired by a wealthier firm. It's an idea that's gained credence ever since moneyman Carl Icahn bought a nearly 10 percent chunk of the online video retailer and suggestions started bubbling that there would be a proxy fight to control the company and put it in the hands of someone else.
"We think we can make it in the long term absolutely on our own. We've been doing that for 10 years," Hastings said in a Wall Street Journal story reported by Wall Street Pit.
Icahn has more than quietly hinted that he thinks Netflix should be acquired by someone with more resources, noting there is a "basic philosophical difference" between that belief and Hastings' adamant response that the company can go it alone. "I believe the shareholders, the rightful owners of the company, should decide whether a company should be sold, not the management," the investor said.
One potential suitor--dismissed as often as it's suggested--has been Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), which is now seen as Netflix's primary competitor. Hastings told Dow Jones editors that Amazon's rise is coming at a price--about $1 billion per year, according to a story covered by AllThingsD.
At least part of that conjecture is based on the fact that Netflix will also be spending a large chunk of money--about $2.1 billion--for content over the next year.
Amazon initially did not respond to Hastings' comments, but Amazon spokesman Andrew Herdener, via e-mail, told AllThingsD that the online retailer does not "comment on our individual investments, but it's correct that Prime Instant Video is an amazing value for customers."