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CBS Reportedly Prepping For Talks With Viacom: What's Different Now?

CBS Reportedly Prepping For Talks With Viacom: What's Different Now?

CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS) shares were trading higher Thursday on word that the company's board may be preparing for merger talks with Viacom, Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB) that would begin in June, according to CNBC's David Faber.

What Happened 

It isn't the first time reports have emerged that CBS is flirting with the idea of a Viacom tie-up. On-again, off-again speculation of a merger has been occurring for some time, although the two companies have yet to talk directly, according to CNBC. 

Earlier this month, CBS made a $5-billion offer to Lions Gate Entertainment (NYSE: LGF-A) to take the premium network Starz off its hands. The talks are ongoing. 

What's Next

If CBS and Viacom make progress on a merger discussion, CNBC said Viacom CEO Robert Bakish would likely run the combined entity. Shari Redstone, vice chairwoman of CBS and Viacom, has long been in favor of a combination, the report said. 

Price Action

CBS shares were trading higher by 3.4 percent at the time of publication Thursday, while Viacom shares were rallying by more than 6 percent. 

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