Is Verizon talking with Netflix? Depends on who you ask

Rumors started floating around Monday that Verizon (NYSE: VZ) was considering acquiring Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX), pushing the troubled online video service's stock up some 6 percent. Now, Bloomberg is reporting that "people with knowledge of the situation" say the companies haven't talked about a deal.

On Monday, citing unnamed sources, Porter Bibb, managing partner at Mediatech Capital Partners, told an interviewer on Bloomberg West "I am hearing rumblings from inside Verizon that they are very serious about either Netflix or something similar."

Spokespeople for both companies declined to comment on the report.

However, Verizon has had discussions with Coinstar about its DVD rental service, Redbox, analysts said, which looks like a better fit and carries a lot less baggage than Netlfix.

"Verizon's not interested in Netflix, they see Redbox as a much better fit," Sam Greenholtz, an analyst with Telecom Pragmatics, told Bloomberg.

There's little doubt the telco is interested in launching some type of over-the-top service, but, according to CEO Lowell McAdam, the company hasn't decided what type of service to offer.

"I think the jury's out, but I do think there is a place for over the top here," McAdam said at the UBS GlobalMedia and Communications Conference in New York last week. "We'll continue to look at different alternatives. But I think there will be a place for over the top...  I think that model has yet to be determined and I hope we'll be a big player in determining that."

Stay tuned.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

Related articles:
Report: 'Very serious' Verizon weighs buying Netflix
Verizon's changing strategy adds Netflix acquisition to rumor mill

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