Will Apple buy Netflix? Analysts predict a 40 percent chance

Will Apple buy Netflix? Analysts predict a 40 percent chance
Photo credit: Reuters

There's a 40 percent chance Apple will acquire Netflix, according to analyst predictions.

Citi analysts Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant said corporate tax cuts in the United States and an amnesty for companies to repatriate overseas cash will boost Apple's cash reserves.

They say Netflix is the company the software giant is most likely to buy.

"The firm has too much cash - nearly US$250 billion - growing at US$50 billion a year. This is a good problem to have," Suva and Merchant said in a message to their clients.

"Historically, Apple has avoided repatriating cash to the US to avoid high taxation. As such, tax reform may allow Apple to put this cash to use.

"With over 90 percent of its cash sitting overseas, a one-time 10 percent repatriation tax would give Apple US$220 billion for M&A or buybacks."

Apple would need only a third of that cash to buy Netflix, they said.

However, Apple is reportedly investing US$1 billion to kick off its own original content. It has recruited Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston to star in a drama about a television network, and Steven Spielberg will create an original series for the company, according to Variety.

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