Is streaming video costing Amazon up to $1 billion a year?

That's what Amazon's archrival, CEO Reed Hastings, says but even if it's true, that may not stop Jeff Bezos from pressing ahead.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
If Reed Hastings is trying to paint Jeff Bezos as a spendthrift, Amazon's CEO might just take that as a compliment.

The Netflix CEO gave an interview to Dow Jones today in which he said Amazon is losing between $500 million and a $1 billion a year as a result of acquiring rights to streaming video content.

In the interview, Hastings said he came up with the numbers after comparing the value of the content deals Amazon won when the two companies directly competed for rights.

No doubt, it's an expensive business and Hastings should know given that his company last month said it would likely be spending more than $2 billion in content in the next year. But he should also know that Bezos may be one of tech's most determined CEOs; when it comes to planting Amazon's flag in a new business which he believes is strategic to the company's future, money has rarely been an issue. We saw something of that philosophy recently when Bezos indicated in a Charlie Rose interview that Amazon may begin opening retail stores in the future.