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Home / News / The Industry / Reports: Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery in early merger talks

Reports: Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery in early merger talks

by City News Service
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Setting up a potentially landscape-changing deal for Hollywood, executives of Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery have held initial discussions about a possible merger of the media giants, according to multiple reports Wednesday.

Axios first reported that Paramount CEO Bob Bakish and Warner Bros. Discovery chief David Zaslav met this week in New York City to begin discussions about a possible joining of the companies. Axios and other outlets reported that Zaslav has also discussed the idea with Shari Redstone, the head of National Amusements, the majority shareholder of Paramount.

Although the talks were described as extremely preliminary, news of the discussions raised eyebrows in Hollywood as a possible further consolidation of power in the entertainment world.

Multiple reports suggested that both companies are coping with substantial debts that are weighing on stock prices, even as both sink more money into the burgeoning world of streaming entertainment.

According to Axios, Warner Bros. Discovery had a value of about $29 billion, while Paramount was valued at around $10 billion. The outlet reported that a combination of the companies could result in a mingling of Paramount+ and Max, creating a powerhouse streaming offering to rival Netflix and Disney+. A merger could also lead to the creation of a major worldwide news powerhouse, with the combining of CBS News and CNN.

Axios noted that there was confidence the proposal would survive regulatory anti-trust scrutiny, in part because Warner Bros. Discovery does not own a broadcast network, making it an easier sell than a merger between Paramount and Comcast, which owns NBC.

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