The corporate raider, who owns 9.9% of the company’s stock and has lobbied for Netflix to sell itself, has been “supportive,” Chief Creative Officer Ted Sarandos says. “It’s been very positive”, although they haven’t spoken specifically about Netflix’s deal yesterday with Disney. But the exec told the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference that this is no time for Netflix to sell itself. “The growth we’re seeing in the U.S. and the growth we’re seeing in international, we’re just in the beginning. …It’s an amazing cycle of innovation.” Indeed, he asks: “Would there have been HBO Go without Netflix? No way.” Sarandos says that competition is growing but “we never thought we’d run away with the whole sector.” And he says that “there aren’t many direct competitors.” For example, Amazon Prime offers discounts on e-commerce shipping, and Hulu Plus has ads. Netflix recently beefed up its anti-takeover protections to keep Icahn at bay.
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