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KUOW - Viacom And CBS Agree To Merge In $30B Deal

The corporate boards of Viacom and CBS agreed to merge in an all-stock deal Tuesday, reuniting the Redstone family's entertainment holdings after a series of legal battles and corporate intrigues. The move is intended to enable the blended company valued at about $30 billion to fight off bulked-up competitors and a new threat from digital rivals with well-financed streaming services. Like Disney, AT&T is moving aggressively to create a new entertainment streaming service. For AT&T, the service will focus on the DC comic books superhero franchises, its HBO programs and films, as well as its cartoon and movie archives. Yet many are watching the nation's leading digital giants with great concern. Sumner Redstone split CBS from Viacom in January 2006 in the belief it would unshackle the more profitable entertainment vehicle Viacom from the lagging, old school network television divisions of CBS. As it happened, CBS proved the more dynamic company under Les Moonves, then CEO and later chairman. As Sumner Redstone aged, Shari Redstone had to battle with her father's former girlfriends and his executives to ensure her position.

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