AT&T and Time Warner, the owner of numerous popular TV networks including HBO, are fast approaching an acquisition deal. After Bloomberg reported yesterday that there had been "informal talks" between senior-level AT&T and Time Warner executives, The Wall Street Journal is now putting those discussions at an "advanced" stage and says a deal could be imminent.
The talks "have come together quickly, are fluid, and still could fall through," according to the Journal. So there's still room for this to fall apart, but trading of Time Warner stock has been temporary halted owing to the news. AT&T had no comment when contacted by The Verge. AT&T's acquisition offer would be a combination of cash and stock, according to the Journal's report.
Such a deal would unite AT&T's various mobile and TV provider holdings — AT&T Wireless, DirecTV, U-Verse, etc. — with Time Warner's massive list of subsidiaries including HBO, TNT, TBS, CNN, Turner Sports, Warner Bros. Entertainment, DC Entertainment, and more.
Both companies have a mixed history with acquisitions and mergers; AT&T recently bought satellite provider DirecTV, a recovery from its devastating, failed bid for T-Mobile US several years prior. Two years ago, Time Warner rejected a buyout offer from 21st Century Fox, but Bloomberg claims CEO Jeff Bewkes remains "a willing seller if he gets an offer he thinks is fair." The company's previous merger with AOL is widely panned as one of the worst mergers in history.