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Netflix’s Biggest Deal Ever: A New Spin on the Same Strategy

Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit and the HBO Max drama are all just one part of a negotiation.

British novelist Roald Dahl (1916 - 1990), UK, 10th December 1971. (Photo by Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images)

British novelist Roald Dahl (1916 - 1990), UK, 10th December 1971. (Photo by Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images)

Photographer: Ronald Dumont/Daily Express/Getty Images
Corrected

Netflix just made its biggest acquisition ever, agreeing to spend more than $700 million to buy Roald Dahl Story Co., which owns characters and creations like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Matilda.”

Bankers have been pitching Netflix on acquisition targets for the past several years with little to show for it. The company acquired Millarworld, a boutique comic book publisher, and StoryBots, a kids’ media producer. Both of those deals were minuscule. This is Netflix’s version of buying MGM or Lucasfilm, albeit on a smaller scale.