AT&T discussed takeover in meetings with Time Warner: Bloomberg

Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:10pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Senior executives of telecommunications company AT&T Inc (T.N: Quote) and media conglomerate Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: Quote) have discussed various business strategies including a possible merger in recent weeks, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people it said were familiar with the matter.

A deal would be one of the largest in recent years in the sector as telecom companies make a land grab for media firms in order to get hold of valuable content.

Time Warner shares jumped 4.7 percent in regular trading and slightly extended gains after hours. AT&T shares slipped 1.8 percent.

Neither side has yet hired a financial adviser, Bloomberg said. (bloom.bg/2enqBF9)

AT&T and Time Warner declined to comment.

Time Warner is attractive because of its premium cable channel HBO, the CNN news network, film studio Warner Bros and other media assets.

AT&T, which sells wireless phone and broadband services, may be looking to emulate cable company Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O: Quote), which acquired NBCUniversal and DreamWorks Animation in a bid to become a massive force that controls how television shows and movies are made and how they are delivered to viewers.

Owning more content gives cable and telecom companies more leverage as customers demand smaller, hand-picked cable offerings or are cutting the cord altogether and watching online.

AT&T has already made moves to turn itself into a media powerhouse, buying satellite TV provider DIRECTV last year for $48.5 billion.   Continued...

 
An AT&T Logo is pictured on the side of a building in Pasadena, California, January 26, 2015.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni