By Davis Freeberg
I haven’t received my invitation yet, but we are beginning to hear rumblings that Netflix is interested in expanding into the Irish markets. It appears that both Netflix and Screen Select have approached Busy Bee DVD about a possible acquisition.
“Busy Bee DVD, Ireland’s second provider of an online movie rental service, says it has been approached about a takeover from overseas — even before Ireland’s other provider has changed its name to reflect its acquisition last month, according to the Irish Independent. Busy Bee DVD says it has been approached by Netflix and by Screen Select. Meanwhile, says the paper, Dublin-based Screen Click is about to change its name to Lovefilm.ie to reflect its EUR3 million acquisition last month by LoveFilm.”
Moving into Ireland could be a logical place for Netflix to expand. It would be an easier place to compete then in the UK where there are four major competitors. If the company has success there, they could use it as a launching pad into other areas.
In Netflix’s last conference call, Reed Hastings was directly asked about the company’s international plans. He never mentioned any specifics, but did say
“It is something that we look at from time to time, and we look at it in the context of meeting our $50 million to 60 million of pretax earnings growth and our 50% earnings growth year after year after that. So if it’s in the budget for doing that, it is something that we will look at seriously.”
Busy Bee DVD hasn’t said which offer they are more interested in, but the conspiracy theorist in me can’t help but notice that their Managing Director, Peter O’Mahony credits Netflix as their inspiration. I also think it’s interesting that Busy Bee recently updated their web page to reflect a new marketing campaign. Is it just me or does the new Busy Bee advertisement look eerily familiar?