A veteran film producer has said it is a “no-brainer” that Apple will buy fellow tech giant Netflix in the next 18 months.

Labour peer David Puttnam told BBC Radio 4’s Media Show that the iPhone maker will not be able to live up to its vision of producing top-quality original content.

Lord Puttnam founded Enigma Productions, which produced critically acclaimed films such as The Killing Fields and Chariots of Fire, which won four Oscars including Best Picture.

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet a pound to a penny that within 18 months Apple will buy Netflix,” he said.

“I don’t think there’s any possibility they can crank out the amount of programming they will need in order to be a viable platform.”

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Apple does not acquire companies at the same rate as fellow tech giants such as Google, and when it does, they tend to be start-ups rather than established firms – never mind ones of the size of Netflix.

Netflix’s market value hovers around $150 billion while Apple is worth an estimated $940bn and could soon become the world’s first trillion-dollar company.

There is a widespread view that Apple likes to do things its own way – keeping them ‘in house’ – but Lord Puttnam believes Netflix could be an exception.

“That’s probably what they would like you to believe, but I think they’ve taken a long hard look at the process of developing content and it’s much, much harder than they imagined,” he said.

“It’d cost them about a third of the money they’ve got stacked in the bank. It’s a no-brainer for them not to, in truth.”

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