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US: CBS/Viacom set August merger date

 |  July 15, 2019

CBS and Viacom continue to bob along with merger talks and are now circling Aug. 8 as an internal deadline to agree to a deal, according to people familiar with the matter.

While a transaction could be announced sooner — or later! — than that, CBS and Viacom happen to share Aug. 8 as the day both companies report second-quarter earnings. That makes it a natural goal post for a merger that’s been speculated about for more than a year, said the people, who asked not to be named because discussions are private.

Both companies have conceptually agreed that a deal to gain scale makes sense, said the people. Bulking up to compete with Netflix, Disney, Comcast and others is a narrative that’s been pushed by controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, who is prohibited from proposing a merger of the companies herself — a provision from a lawsuit she settled with CBS Corp. last year. Redstone would like a combined CBS-Viacom to get even larger as it prepares to renew expensive NFL broadcast rights in the coming years. She attended Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley conference last week, an annual setting for companies to begin thinking about future acquisitions.

Full Content: CNBC

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