Jan 12, 2018

Report: Viacom, CBS back to merger talks

Shari Redstone, vice-chairwoman of National Amusements, the holding company for CBS and Viacom, is looking at potentially bringing the two broadcast giants back together, The Wrap reports.

Why it matters: Two pending mega-mergers between AT&T and Time Warner, as well as Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox, have put pressure on the rest of the entertainment ecosystem to merge and scale in order to keep up with their new ventures, and tech giants like Netflix and Amazon.

The backstory: The two companies have shared a complicated business relationship for years. After merging in 1999, Redstone's father, Sumner Redstone, split the companies in 2005. Both businesses have been managed independently ever since. Redstone made waves when she tried to bring the two companies together in late 2016, only to reverse her decision months later.

In a departure from previous merger talks, sources tell The Wrap that CBS chief executive Les Moonves is now open to a possible deal.

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