Is Disney about to open Mickey's bank account and buy up Netflix? Stranger things have happened! According to a new report from TechCrunch, the recent $85 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner has instigated Disney brass to seek out a possible counterstrike to bolster their online entertainment battleship, and the popular streaming service seems to be directly in their crosshairs. The Disney empire is home to such sterling brands as Disney Studios, the ABC Network, ESPN Network, Disney Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, Marvel and Pixar. Speculation in the potential acquisition rumors include the fact that Disney CEO Bob Iger is set to retire in two years, opening the door for Netflix CEO and billionaire mastermind Reed Hastings to assume the throne.
This would give Disney an instant foothold in the streaming service's home entertainment delivery service as well as its digital roster of heavy-hitting original content programs like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Black Mirror, Stranger Things and the previously partnered upcoming Defenders and Iron Fist comic-book series.
It seems a smart strategic move with unlimited upside and a sweet fit for the House of Mouse in an age of diminishing returns from its ESPN arm and increased competition striking from all directions. Disney just crushed Wall Street's quarterly earnings expectations with another record year, but in Hollywood it's all about "What have you done for me lately?" And with Hastings' bold plan to grow Netflix's original content by 50 percent, Disney and its deep pockets could be its perfect soulmate.
Whether this will all turn out to be a clever round of corporate gamemanship to settle the ravenous shareholder demands or a certified steal, only time will tell. What do you think of a possible marriage between Disney and Netflix, and do you think it might infringe upon some antitrust laws put in place by wiser men to prevent monopolies? Will Netflix keep Disney The Happiest Place on Earth or just the wealthiest?