AT&T has owned WarnerMedia for 5 years and now wants to merge it with Discovery instead. Why?

AT&T plans to spin off WarnerMedia, which it bought five years ago, and merge it with Discovery in a $100 billion deal. Photo by Shutterstock.

AT&T will spin off WarnerMedia (the parent company of HBO, CNN, and Warner Brothers film studio) and merge it with Discovery (which owns HGTV, TLC, and Animal Planet) to create a new company. 

It’s also a $100 billion do-over. AT&T acquired WarnerMedia five years ago when it was known as TimeWarner. Peter Kafka, senior correspondent at Recode, says that original deal never made sense in the first place, and it’s now part of a trend of “unmergers” between communications and big content companies. 

“AT&T has said, ‘Actually it does not make any sense for us to own the company. We’re going to push it over into Discovery and kind of pretend it never happened,” says Kafka. 

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