A new book to be released this week by Reuters reporter Gina Keating suggests that Amazon.com tried to buy DVD movie rental service Netflix for $12 million back in 1999.
Whoa. That certainly could have been a lot cheaper than Netflix’s current market value of $3.7 billion.
Amazon.com was just five years old at the time, and it had yet to move heavily into online video. But, according to Keating, the author of “Netflixed,” Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos made a move on Netflix, one which was reportedly rebuffed because of its low price tag.
Interestingly, a spokesperson for Netflix denies that an offer of the sort described in Keating’s book ever happened, Cnet reports.
Netflix and Amazon have been the subject of M&A speculation for years, including last year after Netflix’s stock was hammered after a series of missteps..
Now, one might think that a deal is far off, especially since Netflix CEO Reed Hastings last month dubbed Amazon.com Prime “kind of a confusing mess.” Amazon also recently signed with one of Netflix’s longtime video distribution partners, Epix.
One gets the sense that Netflix — whose CEO Hastings sits on the board of Microsoft — and Amazon.com don’t like one another much.