Sun Valley 2022 will talk about inflation and the future of video streaming; Tim Cook expects – 9to5Mac | Hot Mobile Press

Sun Valley 2022 – a conference that has been dubbed a “summer camp for billionaires” – will also include Apple CEO Tim Cook. Both Cook and Apple Services CEO Eddy Cue attended last year’s event.

With strong attendance from the media sector, a focus on the future of video streaming is expected, with some speculating that Netflix could be an acquisition target for at least one of the participating companies…

background

The Sun Valley Conference is an annual event hosted by a small but influential investment firm, Allen & Co. The firm has been run by the same company since its inception in 1922 and was an underwriter for Google and Facebook on its IPO, as well as an advisor to Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp.

Sun Valley, named for the Idaho city where it takes place, is an opportunity for technology and media companies to privately discuss matters of common interest.

But the conference also has a reputation for generating acquisitions. While discretion is the watchword of the event, a number of mergers and acquisitions are said to have been sparked by discussions between CEOs at the event. Offerings associated with previous Sun Valley meetings include:

  • The purchase of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos The Washington Post
  • Merger of Warner Media and Discovery
  • The proposed acquisition of MGM by Amazon
  • Disney acquires CapitalCities/ABC

Netflix a possible takeover target

meeting reports that Netflix is ​​considered a potential target this year.

For invited Netflix co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, the year since Allen & Co. 2021 has been a big one. The stock plunged 70% year-to-date after losing subscribers for the first time last quarter, announced it would lose even more in the just-ended June quarter, and suddenly revealed plans to launch an ad-supported service, even if employees are laid off. As a result, Netflix is ​​increasingly viewed as a takeover target — an unusual shift.

An independent Netflix “is gone,” a financier predicted. It is a very valuable platform, but “no longer a growth story”. Hastings and Sarandos “didn’t live up to Street’s expectations” and lost a few hundred million dollars in market cap in one fell swoop, he said, referring to the recent post-earnings video call as co-chiefs discussed the subscriber shortage.

Over the next 18 months, “the environment will become clearer,” he said.

That’s also about the time buyers might consider purchasing WBD. The structure of this deal would result in a hefty tax penalty for any acquirer within two years of closing.

In general, the future of the streaming video business is expected to be one of the main topics of discussion at Sun Valley.

The Netflix effect has spread to shares of other streamers as investors question the viability of the high-priced but still low-profit business. Meanwhile, pent-up demand, the Russia-Ukraine war and ongoing Covid-related supply chain issues have fueled sky-high inflation. Matching rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve risk a recession, a fear that has hit advertising and could spill over into other areas of entertainment.

Tim Cook invited again

Apple CEO Tim Cook is said to be among the participants of the conference again.

Paramount non-executive chairman and controlling shareholder Shari Redstone will be back. CEO Bob Bakish has been invited but cannot attend. Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch and COO John Nallen are confirmed. So did Ken Yoshida, CEO of Sony Group Corp., and Jim Ryan, head of PlayStation. Casey Wasserman and Mike Fries too.

Not all invitees necessarily attend. But Rupert Murdoch is a regular and Bob Chapek – a new three-year deal now in hand – was there last year. Also among the invitees are tech CEOs, including Elon Musk, Apple’s Tim Cook, Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Andy Jassy and Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai.

9to5Mac takes on rumors from Sun Valley

The combination of Cook’s presence and Netflix, which is seen as a takeover target, will inevitably fuel speculation about Apple’s purchase of the streaming media giant. This would instantly make Apple TV+ the biggest name in the streaming video market.

So far, however, there has been little sign that Apple is interested. Apple TV+’s strategy was quality over quantity, with the Cupertino-based company focusing on original content. It’s also a very low-margin business, which would be a surprising buy for a company whose margins are close to 40%. Stranger things have happened, but any speculation is a little wilder.

Photo (cropped): Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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