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May 16, 2021, 4:08 p.m. EDT

AT&T in talks to combine WarnerMedia assets with Discovery

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Cara Lombardo, Dana Cimilluca, Drew FitzGerald

AT&T Inc. is in talks to combine a big portfolio of media assets, including CNN, with Discovery Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, a deal that would mark a major strategy shift for the telecom giant as the traditional TV business faces prolonged pressure.

The talks, which cover CNN and other parts of AT&T’s /zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite T +0.48% WarnerMedia division, including the TNT and TBS cable channels, are advanced and an agreement could be reached by Monday, the people said. Should there be a deal, AT&T shareholders would own a big stake in the new entity, some of the people said. The people cautioned that a deal isn’t done yet and the talks could still fall apart. Other details of the potential transaction couldn’t be learned.

A deal between WarnerMedia and Discovery /zigman2/quotes/200511275/composite DISCA +2.16% , whose portfolio includes its namesake network and HGTV, would further consolidate a media business buffeted by cord-cutting and competition from streaming video.

The talks signal a major pullback by AT&T, which placed a massive bet on media with its 2018 acquisition of Time Warner Inc. for around $81 billion. That deal made it the world’s most indebted nonfinancial company.

Bloomberg earlier reported that AT&T was in talks to combine media assets with Discovery.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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/zigman2/quotes/203165245/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 29.32
+0.14 +0.48%
Volume: 31.09M
June 11, 2021 4:02p
P/E Ratio
N/A
Dividend Yield
7.09%
Market Cap
$209.34 billion
Rev. per Employee
$746,783
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/zigman2/quotes/200511275/composite
US : U.S.: Nasdaq
$ 30.79
+0.65 +2.16%
Volume: 5.28M
June 11, 2021 4:00p
P/E Ratio
21.09
Dividend Yield
N/A
Market Cap
$15.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$1.09M
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