NEW YORK, N.Y. (AP) – AT&T is buying Time Warner, owner of the Warner Bros. movie studio as well as HBO and CNN, for $85.4 billion in a deal that could shake up the media landscape.
The merger combines a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and internet service with the company behind some of the world’s most popular entertainment.
It’s the latest big media acquisition by a major cable or phone company – deals like Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBC Universal, all aimed at shoring up businesses upended by the internet.
The deal would make Time Warner the target of the two largest media-company acquisitions on record, according to Dealogic. The highest was AOL’s disastrous $94 billion acquisition of Time Warner at the end of the dot-com boom.
Regulators would have to sign off on the acquisition, no certain thing. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on the campaign trail. Speaking in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed to kill it if elected because it concentrates too much “power in the hands of too few.”