AT&T buying HBO and CNN owner Time Warner for $85.4 billion - Macleans.ca

AT&T buying HBO and CNN owner Time Warner for $85.4 billion

Merger combines telecom giant with a company behind some of the world’s most popular entertainment

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NEW YORK — AT&T is buying Time Warner, owner of the Warner Bros. movie studio as well as HBO and CNN, for $85.4 billion in a deal that could shake up the media landscape.

The merger combines a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and internet service with the company behind some of the world’s most popular entertainment.

It’s the latest tie-up between the owners of digital distribution networks _ think cable and phone companies _ and entertainment and news providers, one aimed at shoring up businesses upended by the internet.

The deal would make Time Warner the target of the two largest media-company acquisitions on record, according to Dealogic. The highest was AOL’s disastrous $94 billion acquisition of Time Warner at the end of the dot-com boom.