Will Verizon Spoil Plans For A CBS-Viacom Merger? [telecom]

by Jonathan Berr

Well, add Verizon to the many plot twists in the on-again-off-again merger drama involving CBS, Viacom, and the Redstone family which controls both companies through the movie theater chain National Amusements.

According to Reuters and other news sites, the largest U.S. wireless carrier has expressed an interest in buying CBS though it isn't clear how far the buyout discussions progressed. Deadline.com says the "high-level" talks occurred about a year ago, adding that Shari Redstone indicated that she could see "greater value" in a deal for both CBS and Viacom, which cooled Verizon's "urge to merge." I would suspect that the government's lawsuit to block the AT&T-Time Warner deal may have played a role in Verizon's decision to "slow its roll" as well.

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