- Title: AT&T to buy Time Warner for $85 billion, create telecom-media giant
- Date: 23rd October 2016
- Summary: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS EXTERIORS OF AT&T LOGO
- Embargoed: 7th November 2016 16:08
- Keywords: Time Warner AT&T merger HBO CNN DirecTV
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0015586A13
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: AT&T Inc. said on Saturday (October 22) it agreed to buy Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion (70 billion pounds), the boldest move yet by a telecommunications company to acquire content to stream over its high-speed network to attract a growing number of online viewers.
The biggest deal in the world this year will, if approved by regulators, give AT&T control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros. and other coveted media assets. The tie-up will likely face intense scrutiny by U.S. antitrust enforcers worried that AT&T might try to limit distribution of Time Warner material.
AT&T will pay $107.50 per Time Warner share, half in cash and half in stock, worth $85.4 billion overall, according to a company statement. AT&T said it expected to close the deal by the end of 2017.
Dallas-based AT&T said the U.S. Department of Justice would review the deal and that it and Time Warner were determining which Federal Communications Commission licenses, if any, would be transferred to AT&T in the deal.
AT&T, whose main wireless phone and broadband service business is showing signs of slowing, has already made moves to turn itself into a media powerhouse. It bought satellite TV provider DirecTV last year for $48.5 billion.
It had about 142 million North American wireless subscribers as of June 30, and about 38 million video subscribers through DirecTV and its U-verse service.
New York-based Time Warner is a major force in movies, TV and video games. Its assets include the HBO, CNN, TBS and TNT networks as well as the Warner Bros. film studio, producer of the "Batman" and "Harry Potter" film franchises. The company also owns a 10 percent stake in video streaming site Hulu. The HBO network alone has more than 130 million subscribers.
The deal is the latest in the consolidation of the telecom and media sectors, coming on the heels of Comcast Corp.'s purchase of NBC Universal. AT&T's wireless rival Verizon Communications Inc. is in the process of buying internet company Yahoo Inc. for about $4.8 billion.
Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes rejected an $80 billion offer from Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. in 2014.
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