Is AT&T About to Spin-Off CNN?

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-11-48-35-amIf you have AT&T, you could see this in your near future. Trump (obviously) is not a fan of this. What are your thoughts?

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AT&T (T) could spin off cable news channel CNN as part of concessions to get Trump administration approval of its Time Warner (TWX) acquisition, speculates a Wells Fargo analyst.

AT&T, through a spokesman, declined to comment on any possible CNN spinoff.

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson met with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday. AT&T issued a statement saying the pair did not discuss the telecom giant’s proposed $85 billion merger with Time Warner. Trump and Stephenson discussed job growth, the phone company’s capital spending and other economic topics, AT&T said.

Trump voiced opposition to the $85 billion deal while campaigning, but he has not stated his position publicly since the election.

“While we expect there likely will be concessions (possibly a CNN spinoff, and continued infrastructure investment by AT&T), from a legal standpoint, we note that if denied this deal would be precedent setting given the fact that no vertical merger in the TMT space has been denied,” Wells Fargo analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said in a research report. “While most mergers result in major head count reduction, we do not believe this will be the case with Time Warner/AT&T given there is very little overlap in the core business and expertise.”

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