The tech industry was in shock over Netflix’s blockbuster acquisition of U.S. streaming service Hulu last week.
The deal will allow the company to sell its entire streaming video business and will mean that millions of Netflix users will no longer have to pay $7 a month to watch their shows on a variety of devices.
But some are skeptical that this is a good thing.
Many tech experts are calling the move “Netflix is taking away all the value from the platform” and “an abomination,” according to CNNMoney’s Andrew Ross Sorkin.
And this sentiment has been shared by many, including many in the tech world.
“Netflix is just getting richer, and it’s taking away value from a lot of the great content,” said former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.
Mayer also called the deal “a huge step backwards for the future of content.”
“The biggest loser here is not Netflix, but the billions of users who are paying for the service.
The service is getting richer every day,” she said.
Netflix also said that the acquisition will give it more control over content.
“It will provide Netflix with more creative freedom and give us the tools to deliver even better content and to build new platforms to further accelerate that,” Netflix said in a statement.
“This is the most significant deal we have made in our history, and we look forward to working with our partners to continue to deliver great content to our customers.”
In fact, some critics are even calling the deal a “gift” to Netflix, since the acquisition leaves a lot to be desired.
“The deal is a gift to the cable and satellite industry, but a gift that will give Hulu no more of a say over the quality of its content than it did before the acquisition,” said Peter Kafka, an analyst with research firm Technalysis Research.
“There is little reason to believe this deal will bring any real improvements in content quality.”
But others are concerned that the deal will lead to more fragmentation and slower adoption of streaming services in the U.K. and other countries.
“As soon as the deal is made public, it is clear that the content will be split between Hulu and other providers,” wrote Mark Thompson, a researcher at DigitalGlobe, a technology research firm.
“And that will lead Netflix to have even less choice for consumers.”
“There is a real risk that this will lead more people to go to Hulu or Netflix instead of Amazon and Netflix,” said Thompson.
“If this were to happen, we would have seen a rise in prices and the rise in streaming video would have been the biggest contributor to that.”
For now, Netflix is still free to watch any content you want on any device.
But that won’t last forever.
“Once this deal is approved, it will remain open until Netflix reaches its goal of universal access to all its services,” the company said.
“We will continue to offer a wide selection of original shows and movies, but we will not have the same choice of content that our competitors have.”