Could AT&T Be Buying CNN and the Rest of Time Warner?

By Chris Ariens 

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On Thursday Bloomberg scooped that telecom company AT&T and content company Time Warner were in very early stage discussions about a possible merger. Well today, The Wall Street Journal reports those talks are actually in advanced stages.

A deal, which could happen as early as this weekend, would unite AT&T’s portfolio of wireless, broadband and satellite TV services with Time Warner’s entertainment empire, which includes cable networks such as TNT, TBS, CNN, the coveted premium channel HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio.

21st Century Fox, owner of Fox News among other properties, explored its own $80 billion bid for Time Warner two years ago. Time Warner rejected the offer in July 2014 and 21CF backed away from the idea three weeks later.

Meanwhile, AT&T has been beefing up its video delivery capability closing on its $49 billion DirecTV acquisition in July 2015. AT&T is expected to launch DirecTV Now, an over the top video service, before the end of the year.

Time Warner has downsized in recent years, completing its spin off of Time Warner Cable in 2009 (now Charter Communications) and parting ways with the digital/magazine unit Time Inc. in June, 2014.

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