Reed Hastings says Netflix has 'no big appetite, no big need' for mergers

Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for NetflixNetflix hasn’t done many acquisitions and doesn’t plan to make any big ones in the future, CEO Reed Hastings said.
  • Netflix hasn’t made many acquisitions to date, and doesn’t plan to go on a shopping spree now, CEO Reed Hastings said Tuesday.
  • The company still has plenty of room to grow by just focusing on developing new shows and movies and improving its service, he said.
  • Hastings’ comments follow some major Hollywood mergers, and come amid pressure on new player Apple to get in the game.
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Don’t expect Netflix to make any big acquisitions anytime soon.

That was the word from CEO Reed Hastings Tuesday on a webcast following the streaming media giant’s first-quarter earnings report. In its more than 20 years of existence, Netflix has only made a few minor acquisitions, he noted. It’s not planning on changing its ways now and getting more active in the mergers-and-acquisition market, he said.

“I don’t think investors have too much to worry about there,” Hastings said. Netflix, he continued, has “no big appetite, no big need.”

Hollywood has seen some big mergers of late. On Monday, Hulu announced that it had bought AT&T’s shares in the streaming company. Last month, Disney completed its purchase of 21st Century Fox. Last year,AT&T snapped up Time Warner.

Meanwhile, some analysts have been urging Apple, which is due to launch its own streaming media service later this year, to buy some studios or content producers to bulk up its library of movies and TV shows.

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But Hastings doesn’t think Netflix needs to play in that market. Despite being the largest streaming video service with 149 million paid subscribers worldwide, it has plenty of room to get bigger, he said.

“We’ve got clear sailing ahead,” Hastings said. “If we can produce the world’s best content, if we can deliver it with the best user interface, then we can grow for many, many years ahead. So that’s what we’re focused on.”

Netflix’s first-quarter results beat Wall Street expectations, but it warned that its second-quarter subscriber growth would be slower than analysts expected. It also said it expected its operations and investments to burn through $US3.5 billion in cash this year, about $US500 million more than it previously projected.

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