Bold call: Microsoft will buy Netflix, longtime media analyst predicts

  • Microsoft will attempt to buy Netflix, Media Tech Capital Partners' Porter Bibb predicts. But he didn't give a timetable.
  • Bibb says Microsoft wants to get into streaming content but lacks the TV and movie content that Netflix offers.

Microsoft will attempt to buy Netflix in an effort to crack into the streaming business, veteran media analyst Porter Bibb predicted Tuesday.

Bibb, a tech and media analyst with more than 40 years experience on Wall Street, did not offer a timeline for when he thought Microsoft could go after Netflix's assets. But, he said, the technology giant lacks media content and wants to get into streaming content.

"They're moving as fast they can into the cloud business. They don't have any direct to the consumer content delivery," the managing partner at Media Tech Capital Partners told CNBC's "Squawk Box." "I think Netflix is going to be acquired by Microsoft, which doesn't have any content right now."

Netflix, with a market value of nearly $142 billion, has seen its shares soar more than 100 percent during the past 12 months. It might seem like a strange takeover target for Microsoft. But market watchers including CNBC's Jim Cramer have previously noted that Microsoft's deep pockets could allow Netflix to keep writing large paychecks to Hollywood television and movie studios for content.

Netflix said in its latest quarterly report it expects to have $7.5 billion to $8 billion in content expenses this year, in line with previous estimates.

Microsoft, with a market value of $739 billion, has seen its stock rise late last month after it posted a quarterly profit that topped Wall Street forecasts, fueled by its cloud computing business, which competes with the cloud infrastructure offering Amazon Web Services. Microsoft shares have gained nearly 40 percent in the past 12 months.

Microsoft and Netflix did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

Bibb's prediction on Microsoft and Netflix comes on the heels another major media merger plan — Walt Disney's deal to acquire most of Twenty-First Century Fox's assets. Sources tell CNBC that Comcast is making preparations for a possible all-cash bid for Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets, but only if the government approves AT&T's bid to buy Time Warner.

However, Bibb said that a Comcast/Twenty-First Century Fox deal may not happen because media mogul Rupert Murdoch wants to tie his Fox legacy to Disney. Murdoch "doesn't want all that cash," Bibb said.

— Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC and CNBC.com.

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