Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. was in talks to acquire Time Warner Inc. with a deal possibly coming as early as this weekend, according to media reports.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Dallas-based AT&T was in “advanced” talks with Time Warner, the New York parent of Warner Bros. Entertainment, in Burbank, as well as network and cable television networks.
The deal would unite AT&T’s portfolio of wireless, broadband and satellite TV services with the entertainment offerings of Time Warner, the Journal reported.
Shares of Time Warner leapt at the news of the potential acquisition, reaching as high as $94 before settling back to close Friday at $89.48, a gain of $6.49 or 7.8 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.
San Fernando Valley operations of Time Warner include Warner Bros. Entertainment and Studio in Burbank, the headquarters for the filmed entertainment, home entertainment, interactive, consumer products and DC Entertainment divisions; Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, owned by the Turner Broadcasting System of Time Warner; and the CW television network, in Burbank, a joint venture with CBS Corp.
Two years ago, 21st Century Fox made an unsolicited bid for Time Warner in a deal valued at about $30 billion. The Time Warner board immediately turned down the offer, confident the company’s portfolio of networks and its film studio and television production business could grow organically and doubting the ability of 21st Century Fox to manage the combined company.