Netflix shares closed up more than 4% Monday amid rumors that the Walt Disney Co. was eyeing an acquisition of the OTT video giant.
A deal for Netflix would give Disney more original content, more control of its distribution via Netflix, and more infrastructure to deliver its content to a massive array of connected devices.
Disney, which has also been rumored to be eyeing Twitter, has been bulking up on technologies and systems that underpin OTT distribution. In August, Disney announced it was acquiring 33% of BAMTech, the tech services and video streaming operation launched by Major League Baseball, for $1 billion, plus an option to buy a controlling stake in coming years.
A Netflix offiicial said the company does not comment on rumors. Disney has been asked to comment.
MarketWatch also cited a research note from R.W. Baird analyst William Power that is driving some of the M&A speculation centered on Netflix. "Whether Disney, Apple or someone else, Netflix could become a target," he write.