AT&T is reportedly in advanced talks to purchase Time Warner, the media conglomerate that owns Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment.
Bloomberg, which broke the news on Thursday, now reports discussions have accelerated in hopes of reaching an agreement by Monday to close the door on other possible buyers, such as Apple or Google.
The potential merger is already being compared to Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal, in terms of combining content and distribution. A telecommunications giant, the Dallas-based AT&T bought DirecTV last year for $50 billion, becoming the nation’s largest pay-TV service.
A deal, which would have to meet with the approval of federal regulators, would give AT&T control of not only DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ film, television and interactive units, but also Hanna-Barbera Productions and cable networks like HBO, CNN and Cartoon Network. In addition, Time Warner jointly owns The CW with CBS.
The negotiations come more than two years after Time Warner fended off a hostile takeover attempt by 21st Century Fox, which was followed by widespread layoffs affecting the Warner Bros. and Turner Broadcasting divisions. Although the deep cuts were part of a long-term reorganization plan, insiders suggested Rupert Murdoch’s rejected $80 billion bid accelerated the buyouts and layoffs.
Time Warner is now valued at about $65 billion.
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