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Shares of AT&T T slid more than 3.2% in morning trading Friday after a new report from Bloomberg indicated that the telecommunications giant is in talks with Time Warner TWX to take over the media company.
According to people familiar with the matter, AT&T and Time Warner executives have met in recent weeks to discuss a variety of potential new business strategies, including a merger. Industry speculation over the last few months has revolved around AT&T’s interest in boosting its media portfolio with an acquisition (also read: Is AT&T Eyeing Time Warner to Enter Media Industry?).
The original Bloomberg story, which broke late Thursday, said that merger talks were only in the most preliminary stage, with neither company even brining a financial advisor to the meetings yet. However, things look to be progressing quickly; a new report from The Wall Street Journal published early Friday claims that the talks are now “advanced.”
“A deal, which could happen as early as this weekend, would unite AT&T’s portfolio of wireless, broadband and satellite TV services with Time Warner’s entertainment empire, which includes cable networks such as TNT, TBS, CNN, the coveted premium channel HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio,” WSJ said.
A deal between AT&T and Time Warner would also further highlight the changing state of the communications and media industry. As consumer behavior related to media consumption continues to evolve, traditional industry giants are desperately trying to keep up.
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