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'House of Cards' With Your Cellphone Subscription? Vodafone Seen in Netflix Talks

World's No. 2 Mobile Carrier Wants to Be a One-Stop Shop

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Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards.'
Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards.' Credit: Netflix

Vodafone Group, the world's second-largest mobile carrier, is in talks with Netflix to offer subscribers access to streaming movies and TV shows, three people familiar with the discussions said.

A deal would give Vodafone customers free access to Netflix content for a period of time, the people said, asking not to be named because the agreement isn't final. Talks are at an early stage, they said.

Vodafone is adding more content to its lineup as CEO Vittorio Colao transforms the company into a one-stop-shop for customers who want to access applications, entertainment, and files on fixed and mobile connections.

The company announced deals last year that give U.K. customers free access to music service Spotify or British Sky Broadcasting Group's Sky Sports when they sign up for its high-speed, fourth-generation mobile network.

Simon Gordon, a spokesman for Newbury, England-based Vodafone, declined to comment on a potential deal.

"We have all kinds of arrangements with all kinds of operators, and we have nothing to say until we announce them," Netflix spokesman Jonathan Friedland said.

The two companies overlap in the Netherlands, the U.K. and Ireland. Netflix, based in Los Gatos, California, has more than 40 million customers worldwide.

Vodafone recently handed its massive global media business to WPP's MEC after a competitive pitch and amid rumors that AT&T wants to buy the carrier.

~ Bloomberg News with Ad Age staff ~

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