Business Insider reported on a new rumor/bit of analysis/blatant patchwork of random guesses from the financial analysis community today, suggesting that 2018 might see two of the internet’s biggest companies merge together into yet another massive, multi-tentacled media blob. Specifically, Citi analysts Jim Suva and Asiya Merchant sent out a memo to clients back in December, suggesting that there’s a 40 percent chance that Apple will try to acquire Netflix—one of the largest independent companies still operating in the media sphere—at some point in 2018.
To be fair—and hey, it’s not like a little baseless financial speculation has ever been wrong or hurt anybody before, right?—Citi’s analysis doesn’t appear to have taken its cues from anything either company has said about a prospective sale. Rather, Suva and Merchant point to the fact that Apple a) is about to have a lot of money freed up for American transactions by the upcoming changes to the country’s tax code, and b) has had legendarily rough troubles drumming up anything more than a resigned shrug with its own offerings in the original streaming content market. (Where are all our Planet Of The Apps fans at, huh?) Purchasing the streaming giant would be a convenient way to apply a to b, while simultaneously making this latest hypothetical consolidation of media power one more thing we can place on the orange, ugly-haired head of Donald Trump.
To be fair, it’s not like Citi hasn’t made a few credible longshot calls of late; last year, the company marked a Fox-Disney merger at 20-30 percent, a dark horse prediction that ultimately paid off. Still, we can’t say we’re super-thrilled at the idea of Netflix—one of the most aggressive innovators currently operating in film and TV—falling under Apple’s monolithic white plastic thumb.