Rumors that Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is considerring buying Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) are heating up with the Bloomberg reporting that at least one investment banker thinks the streaming video company could be sold by Easter.
"I am hearing rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar," said Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital. Bill said Netflix could go for as much as $4.6 billion; the once-high-flying company has a market cap of $4.17 billion.
Verizon has acknowledged it wants to develop a streaming business, with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at a conference last week, saying it continues "to look at alternatives."
Verizon was one of the companies that looked at Hulu when it was on the market earlier this year.
"The jury's out, but I do believe there's a place for over-the-top," said McAdam. "That model has yet to be determined and I hope we'll be a player in that."
Netflix shares rose some 6 percent on the rumors Monday, picking up an additional 1 percent after hours.
Rumblings last week were that Verizon would launch its own service or pursue DVD kiosk operator Coinstar.
Netflix has declined to comment on the rumors.
- see this Bloomberg article
Verizon weighed acquiring Hulu
Report: Verizon poised to launch Netflix-style online service