The merger would be a stronger competitor against streaming giants like Netflix and Disney+.
Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global are in early talks to merge, according to a report by Axios that cites multiple sources.
David Zaslav, CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery and Bob Bakish, CEO, Paramount Global reportedly held discussions in New York City regarding a potential merger. The meeting at Paramount's headquarters in Times Square, extended for several hours, the sources added.
Zaslav also engaged in discussions with Shari Redstone, the owner of Paramount's parent company, regarding a possible deal. It remains uncertain whether Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) would acquire Paramount Global directly or its parent company, National Amusements Inc (NAI). According to a source familiar with the situation, both possibilities are being considered.
According to Axios, the chief executives conversed about how their main streaming services, Paramount Plus and Max (formerly HBO Max), will compete against Netflix and Disney Plus. WBD's international distribution could enhance Paramount's franchises, while Paramount's kids' programming could bolster WBD's streaming goals. Combining CBS News with CNN might form a global news giant.
With WBD's valuation of $29 billion and Paramount's $10 billion, the merger's market value would be $38 billion.
Sources suggest that the talks are in preliminary stage and while underway, there's no certainty that a deal will happen.