AT&T to buy HBO, CNN, and the rest of Time Warner for more than $80 billion

The Wall Street Journal reports that AT&T has reached a deal to acquire Time Warner for more than $80 billion. News of the merger first surfaced on Friday, when Reuters and Bloomberg reported that the deal could top $85 billion. If successful, AT&T will gain control of huge entertainment and news brands including HBO, Warner Bros. Entertainment, and CNN, and resembles efforts by competing ISPs in recent years to create enormous media conglomerates.

Other similar mergers include the Comcast / NBC Universal, which completed in 2011, and Verizon's purchase of AOL in 2015, and Yahoo this year. AT&T's deal with Time Warner follows another major acquisition last year, when it acquired DirecTV for $48.5 billion.

The deal is done: AT&T, Time Warner boards meeting today to approve merger. Announcement coming tonight. w/ @tgryta https://t.co/HYf1Kydltd

— Keach Hagey (@keachhagey) October 22, 2016

Like other huge media consolidations, this merger has significant implications for the internet and the entertainment industry. As ISPs have expanded their holdings, they have found themselves competing directly with major content creators like Netflix. And while one substantial complaint of the ISP market is lack of competition, vertical integration forces ISPs to compete with other companies both as distributors and content creators, which has created some awkward situations for consumers.

According to the Journal, the deal is expected to be announced tonight.


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