AT&T has reportedly reached a deal to purchase Time Warner, parent company of Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment, for more than $80 billion.
According to The Wall Street Journal, he boards of both corporations are meeting today to approve the merger; an announcement could be made as early as tonight.
The agreement, which would turn AT&T into a telecommunications and entertainment colossus, will be subject to rigorous review by federal regulators, which likely means the acquisition of Time Warner wouldn't be complete until late next year. The potential merger drew criticism today from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who said, if elected, his administration would block the deal, "because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.”
The acquisition of Time Warner would give AT&T control of not only DC Entertainment and Warner Bros.’ film, television and interactive divisions, but also Hanna-Barbera Productions and cable networks like HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS and Cartoon Network. In addition, Time Warner jointly owns The CW with CBS.
The move comes more than a year after Dallas-based AT&T acquired pay-TV provider DirecTV for $50 billion, and two years after Time Warner fought off a hostile takeover bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.