In a note to clients — as noted by Business Insider — Citi analysts Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant say there’s a 40% likelihood of Apple acquiring Netflix. The tech giant will be able to repatriate about $220 billion in cash to the US under the Trump tax cut.
Apple would only need one-third of that to scoop up Netflix, the analysts note. The cut in corporate taxes, along with a one-time allowance for companies to repatriate cash stored overseas without a major tax hit, will give the Cupertino, California-based company a much larger cash warchest to buy new companies. Apple has about $252 billion in cash, much of it in foreign jurisdictions, which previously it was unable to bring back to the U.S.
There have been rumors for years that Apple would buy Netflix. I’ve been dubious before, but not I think it’s a strong possibility. Netflix has a commanding lead in the streaming video world, and this could jumpstart Apple's efforts in the market.
Buying Netflix might be simpler than reinventing the wheel. It would also be a separate division from the iTunes Store, which rents and sells movies and TV shows — although an Apple-owned Netflix could include links in streamed shows to iTunes in case you saw something you wanted to own.