Netflix Is Apple’s Most Likely Target, Analysts Claim

Apple has a 40 percent chance of buying Netflix in 2018 according to one pair of market analysts. While the number is somewhat arbitrary, by the analysts’ logic it might now be a better than even chance.

The prediction comes from Asiya Merchant and Jim Suva of Citi, who listed the chances of several possible takeovers. Others included Activision, Electronic Arts and Take-Two at around 10 percent and Tesla and Hulu as longer shots.

The figures effectively suggest it’s a guaranteed certainty that Apple will buy one (and exactly one) major company this year. While that clearly makes no statistical sense, there is something behind it. The analysts note that the recently-passed US tax law changes mean Apple has a one-off chance to bring money held overseas back to the US with a heavily reduced tax bill. That means it’s in Apple’s interest to spend the money by striking a takeover deal.

Although only just made public, the paper behind the forecast was clearly written several weeks ago as it shows Disney as a 20-30 percent chance. That’s now out of the window, meaning Netflix is effectively rated as having as much or more chance of being taken over than all the other listed countries put together.

The logic appears to be that while streaming video is a complementary product to Apple’s devices, it’s an area where it doesn’t have any particular expertise and it’s likely a case of if you can’t beat them, join them.

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