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AT&T Mulls Selling Gaming Unit in $4 Billion Deal, CNBC Says

Nick Turner and Scott Moritz

(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. is considering a sale of Warner Bros. video-game unit, a business that could fetch about $4 billion and help the company pare down its almost $200 billion in debt, CNBC reported.

Activision Blizzard Inc., Electronic Arts Inc. and Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. are interested in potentially buying the division, according to CNBC, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter. The business, known as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, makes games such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Mortal Kombat 11. A deal isn’t imminent, the news outlet said.

AT&T declined to comment, as did Electronic Arts and Take-Two. Activision didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Dallas-based phone giant acquired the video-game maker in its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner Inc. in 2018. That deal, and an earlier acquisition of DirecTV, ballooned AT&T’s debt and the company has been looking to ways to cut costs and unload assets. Incoming Chief Executive Officer John Stankey will continue those efforts when he takes the helm on July 1.

One complication is the gaming business bases many of its titles on Warner Bros.’s movies and shows, such as Harry Potter and the Lego Movie. A sale may include licensing the properties to a buyer, according to CNBC.

(Updates with company responses in third paragraph.)

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