Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount shares rise on report that merger talks have halted


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Shares of Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and Paramount Global Inc. rose after a new report said merger talks between the media giants have stopped.

CNBC reported Tuesday that Warner has halted talks to acquire Paramount after several months of kicking the tires. Axios had first reported on the merger talks in December.

Warner shares
rose nearly 2% on Tuesday, while Paramount
gained 1.4%.

Warner completed its complicated merger with Discovery last year, and analysts had been skeptical that another merger — this one involving combining TV networks like CBS and CNN and streaming services such as Max and Paramount+ — would pass regulatory muster.

Skydance Media, the TV and film studio owned by David Ellison, has been reportedly interested for months in buying some or all of Paramount and its parent company, National Amusements, which is currently controlled by Shari Redstone.

CNBC reported that Skydance is still interested in Paramount, and is still performing due diligence on a possible deal.

Comcast Corp.
which owns Peacock, is not interested in acquiring any Paramount assets, CNBC reported, but remains open to a streaming joint venture, which the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

According to CNBC, Paramount has established a special committee with its own financial adviser to mull potential bids for some or all of the company.

Warner Bros. Discovery shares slid 10% on Friday after the company posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss. Its stock is down 14% year to date, and is off 44% over the past 12 months.

Paramount is expected to report earnings Wednesday. Its stock is down 18% this year and has fallen 47% over the past year.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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