Date
8 December 2016
Acquiring Time Warner would give AT&T a collection of popular programming to offer to subscribers. Photo: Bloomberg
Acquiring Time Warner would give AT&T a collection of popular programming to offer to subscribers. Photo: Bloomberg

AT&T, Time Warner executives discussed merger: Bloomberg

Senior executives of telecommunications company AT&T Inc. and media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. have discussed various business strategies including a possible merger in recent weeks, Bloomberg reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The informal talks have focused on building relations between the companies rather than establishing the terms of a specific transaction, the sources said, adding that neither side has yet hired a financial adviser.

Acquiring Time Warner would give AT&T, one of the biggest providers of pay-TV and of wireless and home internet service in the United States, a collection of popular programming to offer to subscribers, from HBO to NBA basketball to the Cartoon Network, the financial news provider said. 

AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson has been looking to add more content and original programming as part of his plan to transform the Dallas-based telecommunications company into a media and entertainment giant.

Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is a willing seller if he gets an offer he thinks is fair, said one of the sources.

Bewkes and his board rejected an US$85-a-share approach in 2014 from Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc., which valued Time Warner at more than US$75 billion.

Time Warner has a market value of about US$65 billion, while AT&T has a market value of about US$238 billion, Reuters said.

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