According to the news channel’s sources, the sale can fetch up to $4 billion for AT&T, which already has a number of interested buyers including Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Take-Two Interactive. CNBC’s sources said the discussions are a private affair and nothing is final. All of the aforementioned companies declined to comment when asked for a statement.
The report understandably took many by surprise but it’s unclear at present what prompted the move. Some of Warner Bros. franchises are based on properties like DC Comics that AT&T currently holds exclusive rights to so it remains to be seen if these will be transferred as part of the deal.
This is an interesting time for a sale. As CNBC points out, WarnerMedia Chief Executive Officer, John Stankey, is set to take over as AT&T’s new CEO on July 1st. During the Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference back in March, he revealed that AT&T is focusing on “portfolio rationalization.”
AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner began in 2016. Then CEO Jeff Bewkes said at the time that the deal “dramatically accelerates” Time Warner’s “ability to deliver our great brands and premium content to consumers on a multiplatform basis and to capitalize on the tremendous opportunities created by the growing demand for video content.” Bewkes also said that the deal was great news for Time Warner and its shareholders.
We’ll update our readers when we have more information.