AT&T to buy Time Warner - report

  • 23/10/2016
AT&T store in New York (Getty)
AT&T store in New York (Getty)

AT&T is buying Time Warner, owner of the Warner Bros movie studio as well as HBO and CNN, for US$85.4 billion (NZ$119 billion) in a deal that could shake up the US media landscape.

The merger combines a telecom giant that owns a leading mobile phone 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.

AT&T will pay US$107.50 per Time Warner share, in a combination of cash and stock, worth US$85.4 billion overall, according to a company statement. AT&T said it expected to close the deal by the end of 2017.

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 US$94 billion acquisition of Time Warner at the end of the dot-com boom.

US Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has complained about media coverage of his campaign, said at a rally on Saturday he would block any AT&T-Time Warner deal if he wins the election.

"It's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few," said Mr Trump.