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

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NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T’s $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner represents a new bet on synergy between companies that distribute information and entertainment to consumers and those that produce it.

The acquisition would combine a telecom giant that owns a leading cellphone business, DirecTV and an internet service with the company behind HBO, CNN, and some of the world’s most popular entertainment, including “Game of Thrones,” the “Harry Potter” franchise and professional basketball. It’s the latest big media acquisition by a major cable or phone company – such as Comcast’s 2011 purchase of NBC Universal – and aimed at shoring up businesses upended by the internet.

Regulators would have to sign off on the deal, no certain thing. The prospect of another media giant on the horizon has already drawn fire on the campaign trail. Speaking in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump vowed to kill it if elected because it concentrates too much “power in the hands of too few.”

Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, said the deal “raises some immediate flags about consolidation in the media market” and said he would press for more information on how the deal will affect consumers. – READ MORE

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