Yahoo! tipped to buy Netflix

Speculation that Yahoo! could chase a Netflix acquisition has erupted today, in the aftermath of the web company's new CEO Scott Thompson hinting at changes in content and media yesterday. "I wouldn't be surprised if there were some big moves on the content side, to make Yahoo! a more compelling destination for consumers" Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster told CNBC in a segment you can see after the cut. "In the back of my mind, I wonder if they buy Netflix, that would make a lot of sense."

Although Munster has a mixed track record, particularly on his usual beat of Apple predictions – he's been shouting about the Apple television for a couple of years now – the suggestion of potential Netflix interest has had a healthy reaction in the streaming media company's share price. Stock leapt on Wednesday, by over 11-percent, after Neftlix announced its users had watched more than 2bn hours of content in Q4 2011.

Previous acquisition rumors had pegged Verizon as a potential suitor to Netflix, something the carrier moved to dismiss in December. The streaming firm had struggled in 2011, after an aborted attempt to split away its DVD business as "Qwikster" and price increases drove customers away.

Netflix now intends to invest in its own original content, with the first show premiering next month. That's arguably something Yahoo! might want to get involved in, making its own portal a destination with content viewers can't see elsewhere.

[via PC Mag]