Who's Buying Netflix? Google vs. Amazon (Final Four + Championship Game)

We started with 8 teams in the Netflix buyout tourney, and are down down to the Final Four.
1) Google vs. 4) Comcast
2) Amazon  vs. 6) Time Warner

Fast forward- Google blows out Comcast, who was a pretender, and Amazon edges Time Warner, though not by much, simply because the idea of HBOGO content, plus the streaming Netflix content is beyond appealing to me as a consumer, something I would be salivating to pay for.

So now we have the hoopla, the Superbowl of buyouts, we pit the leading E-Commerce company, Amazon, versus the undisputed King of the Internet, and if you don't know which company I mean, just Google it.
championship round
Amazon vs. Google-- The Finals

This promises to be a well played, competitive game, which highlights Amazon point guard Jeff Bezos versus Google's rapid fire Kobe Bryant like small forward Larry Page, who only recently learned to pass up contested shots. (note- I'm not saying Kobe has, just Larry)
Google has so much talent, traffic, and bankroll, they were able to fund any project they fancied and ended up with a rather unwieldy array of products. When Larry Page took over as Google CEO, one day honorary coach Steve Jobs met with him at in his Palo Alto home and advised him to concentrate on making his core great, rather than "making a lot of mediocre offerings ala Microsoft."
Taking this heart to heart, to heart (sorry) Larry axed many programs to concentrate his talent on what he considered the core.
Among these was YouTube, (which they have really beefed-up with new money making opportunities for contributors with new advertising which are raising revenues for both us and the company. Expanding on this, they have decided to invest 100 million dollars (that's a spicy meatball) into proprietary content for their YouTube channels, which will undoubtedly be integrated in a meaningful way in the upcoming Google TV project.
Additionally, with Google Play (see the black bar on the Google homepage) you can purchase video on demand from the company. I personally don't understand why consumers would ever choose this option for anything but a newly released movie they are dying to see as there is so much available content out there, amongst which is Netflix, but this just serves as an example of the world being comprised of the intelligent and un, and as Google becomes more and more of a portal rather than just search, there is no reason they shouldn't enhance their revenues by offering such a service to the un.
All joking aside, I could very much see Google shelling out dollars from their massive hoard which they have a history of doing, as they'd much rather grow faster via acquisitions (Zagat, Android, spurned Groupon offer) rather than organically build from within. Purchase Netflix, it's a pretty solid play.

Championship round analysis: Amazon vs Google

Jeff Bezos on the other hand has wielded a much more exacting hand than Larry Page in building his company. Every move, every new product, every acquisition has been done with the goal of making Amazon the world's retailer. The Kindle E-reader, another avenue for book distribution, their recent acquisition of robot maker, Kiva Systems, for 775 million, aimed at improving its margins and efficiency, over its vast network of warehouses, the Kindle Fire tablet, which it sells at a loss to gain customers and market share, everything is designed to make Amazon the central destination for all E-Commerce.
Now, Amazon does currently offer Amazon Prime, where for $79 a year, you get two-day shipping at no additional cost on all purchases with Amazon plus an all you can eat smorgasbord of videos similar to Netflix, which sounds great, other than the fact that its offerings are incredibly unappetizing.
I sampled Prime, and I only found a few videos I wanted to watch, and thus decided to end my free trial. Should they have had Netflix's offerings I would have gladly paid more for the service, and become an even more loyal Amazon customer, which is Bezos's chief goal.
Additionally, a Netflix purchase gives Amazon instant access into various mobile streaming devices they not currently integrated with Amazon's offerings, especially the X-Box.
Amazon is actively trying to acquire new content for its streaming offerings, and buying Netflix would speed this up tremendously.
To boot, Netflix already uses Amazon cloud services, thus there would be even less friction in integrated Netflix's offerings into the company's portfolio.
All summed up, I believe that Amazon becomes Netflix's most likely buyer. It just makes most sense, and fits into their strategy and broader goals nearly seamlessly.
Congratulations Amazon, you have won the Netflix Buyout tournament, and should you buy them, you'll instantly be awarded at least one new Amazon prime customer (me.)
That is assuming I can afford it, as your purchase would send Netflix shares upwards, and my short position would be decimated.
So, why go through this whole exercise? Because while I believe the increased competition Netflix is facing will seriously erode company revenues, which is I went short, I have to take into account the fact that it's quite a tasty acquisition prospect. Try to consider all when investing.


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