AT&T-Time Warner Deal Could Be Final Sooner Than Expected

Oct 21, 2016

AT&T is in advanced talks to acquire media conglomerate Time Warner, and a deal could come as early as this weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The talks around the cash-and-stock deal have come together quickly, the Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Time Warner's (twx) shares were up 8.2% at $89.77 in late morning trading. AT&T (t) was down 2% at $37.87.

Time Warner, which has a market value of about $65 billion, is an attractive target because of its premium cable channel HBO, the CNN news network, film studio Warner Bros, and other media assets.

AT&T, which has a market capitalization of about $238 billion, has already made moves to turn itself into a media powerhouse, buying satellite TV provider DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion.

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Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes has not been willing to sell in the past. The company rejected an $80 billion offer from Twenty-First Century Fox (fox) in 2014.

AT&T and Time Warner were not immediately available for comment.

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that executives of both the companies had discussed various business strategies, including a possible merger, in recent weeks.

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