Did Amazon really try to buy Netflix for $12 million?

Perhaps Amazon should have been a little more generous?

According to a new book, Amazon was keen to buy Netflix in 1999. Quite understandable given its potential. But it only offered $12 million for the then-startup. The derisory offer was rejected and the rest, as they say, is history; Netflix now has a market value of a cool $3.7 billion.

The ingeniously-titled Netflixed is a history of the company that details the 1999 meeting between Amazon's Jeff Bezos and Netflix founders Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph. And yes (haha), the book is available at Amazon.

So what happened next? Hastings tried to sell to Blockbuster for $50 million, but it rejected the offer. Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in 2010 while Netflix has gone from strength to strength, though it has had recent problems of its own, not least when it attempted to sell off its DVD business and its share price declined.

Dish Network has just announced it is to abandon US plans to relaunch Blockbuster as a Netflix rival.

And just two weeks ago, Hastings called Amazon Prime Instant Video "a confusing mess",

Hitting targets

Netflix has undergone a successful international rollout over the last couple of years though, while its userbase is increasing, profits were down in the second quarter by a whopping 91 per cent and the company warned it may not hit its goal of seven million new subscribers this year.

Amazon tried its own subscription services in various territories until it eventually decided it would buy LoveFilm outright in 2011 (it previously had a stake in the company) for around £200 million ($322 million USD).

Via Cnet


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site T3.com. Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.