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Netflix confirms it won't be part of Apple TV

Los Angeles

NETFLIX INC chief executive Reed Hastings confirmed that his company will not be participating in Apple Inc's new streaming platform, reflecting new competition between the Silicon Valley giants.

"We want to have people watch our content on our service," he said at a press conference on Monday. "We've chosen not to integrate into their service." Apple plans to introduce the video-streaming service on March 25, opening up a new battlefront for the tech industry and Hollywood. The idea is to combine original content with programming from partners, including HBO and Starz.

Apple has played a neutral role in the fight for eyeballs online, opting to distribute shows, apps and movies from all major companies. But it now wants to sell the service that people use to watch TV as well.

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"We've always had massive competitors," Mr Hastings said. "We've been competing with Amazon in video streaming. These are amazing, large, well-funded companies with very significant efforts. But you do your best job when you have great competitors."

Given that Apple's service - at least at launch - will be heavily reliant on outside suppliers to fill up its content library, there had been some discussions that the company might partner with Netflix to some degree. But Bloomberg News reported last week that Netflix won't be part of the service. Apple will announce the streaming initiative alongside other new products, including a magazine subscription bundle, at the event in Cupertino, California.

Netflix has previously shunned integration with Apple's television application on iPhones, iPads and Apple TV boxes, which aggregates video content from several providers. The company also recently stopped allowing Apple users to subscribe via the App Store billing feature, retaining the 30 per cent cut that previously went to Apple. BLOOMBERG