FierceCable is reporting that AT&T will acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion. The acquisition would make AT&T, which already owns DirecTV, a much more powerful content provider, as the company would take ownership of HBO, the Turner networks, and Warner Brothers TV Studios and Pictures. The deal still needs to be finalized and approved by the Department of Justice, but the two companies hope for it to be completed by the end of 2017.
AT&T announced it will acquire Time Warner Inc. for $85.4 billion.
The deal puts HBO under the AT&T umbrella, as well as Turner Networks, home to CNN, TNT and TBS. AT&T would also control the powerful Warner Bros. TV Studios operation, as well as Warner Bros. Pictures. The purchase comes as AT&T is working to launch an OTT service called DirecTV Now later this year, and solidifies AT&T’s desire to supply content alongside wireless and wired network connections.
Indeed, Time Warner’s content assets will be added to AT&T’s telecom operations, and the combined company said the transaction will unite “the world’s best premium content with the networks to deliver it to every screen, however customers want it.”
Although the companies said the agreement has been approved unanimously by the boards of directors of both companies, Time Warner shareholders still need to sign off on the deal. The U.S. Department of Justice will also need to approve the transaction. The companies said they expect the transaction to close by the end of 2017. Reports had indicated a deal was imminent.
The deal follows on the heels of AT&T’s blockbuster $48.5 billion purchase of satellite TV distributor DirecTV in 2015. And it comes 16 years after AOL announced a now-failed merger with Time Warner.
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