The wireless carrier agreed to pay $107.50 a share, evenly split between cash and stock. The companies said they expect the deal to close by the end of 2017.
AT&T Chief Executive Randall Stephenson would head the new company. The companies said Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes would stay for an interim period following the close of the deal to help with the transition.
The combined business would pair the carrier’s millions of wireless and pay-television subscribers with Time Warner’s deep media lineup, which includes networks such as CNN, TNT, the prized HBO channel and Warner Bros. film and TV studio. It furthers AT&T’s bet that television and video can drive growth into a stalled wireless market.
“Premium content always wins. It has been true on the big screen, the TV screen and now it’s proving true on the mobile screen,” Mr. Stephenson, 56 years old, said in a release.
The companies said they aim to be the first U.S. wireless company to compete nationwide with cable companies by providing an online-video bundle akin to a traditional pay-television package. “It will disrupt the traditional entertainment model and push the boundaries on mobile content availability for the benefit of customers,” the companies said.