Telecom giant AT&T is in advance stage to acquire Time Warner in an estimated $80 billion deal, according to a media report which said that the agreement could result in creation of a new conglomerate in the field of media and Internet.
The Wall Street Journal said the deal could happen as early as this weekend. It would unite AT&T’s wireless, broadband and satellite TV brands with Time Warner’s entertainment empire, which includes cable networks such as TNT, TBS, CNN, the prized HBO channel, and the Warner Bros film and TV studio, the daily said. Earlier Apple had eyed Time Warner but the negotiations could not move beyond a point.
The talks are no longer active but Apple continues to monitor the situation. “If a Time Warner sale occurs, that could encourage other telecom and media companies to pursue their own combinations,” the Journal said. The deal would set a milestone in the converging media and telecommunications sectors and unleash a far-reaching reordering of the industry as rivals are spurred to attempt their own deals, it said.
According to The Wall Street Journal, an AT&T-Time Warner merger would be the most ambitious marriage of content and distribution since Comcast Corp’s 2011 purchase of NBCUniversal and would create a behemoth that rivals that cable giant.
AT&T Inc began its existence as Southwestern Bell Corporation, one of seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOC’s) created in 1983 in the divestiture of American Telephone and Telegraph Company (founded 1885, later AT&T Corp) following the 1982 United States v AT&T antitrust lawsuit.
Southwestern Bell changed its name to SBC Communications Inc in 1995. In 2005, SBC purchased former parent AT&T Corp and took on its branding, with the merged entity naming itself AT&T Inc. and using the iconic AT&T Corp logo and stock-trading symbol.