- The Washington Times - Friday, October 21, 2016

Telecom giant AT&T could finalize a deal to buy out Time Warner as early as this weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The deal “would unite AT&T’s portfolio of wireless, broadband and satellite TV services with Time Warner’s entertainment empire, which includes cable networks such as TNT, TBS, CNN, the coveted premium channel HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and TV studio,” the Journal said.

“The talks toward what likely would be a cash-and-stock deal have come together quickly, are fluid and still could fall through, according to people familiar with the matter.”

AT&T formally acquired satellite-TV provider DirecTV in July 2015 after the deal was scrutinized and approved by federal regulators.

That merger made the Dallas-based phone company “the largest pay TV provider in the U.S. and the world, providing service to more than 26 million customers in the United States and more than 191 million customers in Latin America, including Mexico and the Caribbean,” according to a company news release from the time.

AT&T’s play for Time Warner may have in view expanding further into video-streaming, the Journal observed, noting that “Time Warner bought a 10% stake in Hulu in August, joining Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal as an owner in the $5.8 billion video service.”

AT&T also is launching a DirecTV online service aimed at selling a robust package of TV channels,” the paper explained.

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