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Barry Diller says Netflix won the streaming war years ago and no one else will be able to compete


Netflix has already won the streaming wars, media mogul Barry Diller told CNBC on Friday.

“Netflix won this several years ago, they’re the only ones who have the scale and momentum to keep making these somewhat lunatic investments in programming,” Diller, the chairman of IAC, said in an interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin. “You cannot compete with the momentum, the scale, no one will ever be able to do that.”

Legacy media have jumped into the streaming space in recent years to win back customers and strengthen business. Disney‘s Hulu and Disney+, Comcast NBCUniversal’s Peacock, ViacomCBS‘ Paramount+ and AMC Networks‘ AMC+ have all jumped onboard to transition their aging television-focused businesses .

Most recently, AT&T announced a deal to combine its content unit WarnerMedia with Discovery to form a new media giant. The new media company could be worth well over $100 billion, and executives said the two companies already spend a combined $20 billion per year on content, including programming for their linear networks. AT&T said Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead the new company.

However, Diller said doesn’t think the new deal will lead to a company that can take over Netflix’s success. Still, the deal can be considered the “great escape” for AT&T, Diller said.

“It’s the power of monopoly,” he added. “Ma Bell should have been dead and buried by now.”

Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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