AT&T agrees in principle to buy Time Warner for $85 billion: sources

Ticker and trading information for media conglomerate Time Warner Inc. is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York CityAT&T Inc has reached an agreement in principle to buy Time Warner Inc for about $ 85 billion, sources said on Friday, paving the way for what would be the biggest deal in the world this year, giving the telecom company control of cable TV channels HBO and CNN, film studio Warner Bros and other coveted media assets. The deal, which has been agreed on most terms and could be announced as early as Sunday, would be one of the largest in recent years in the sector as telecommunications companies look to combine content and distribution to capture customers replacing traditional pay-TV packages with more streamlined offerings and online delivery. AT&T, which sells wireless phone and broadband services, has already made moves to turn itself into a media powerhouse, buying satellite TV provider DirecTV last year for $ 48.5 billion.

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