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Microsoft Expresses Interest in Warner Bros. Gaming Unit

Microsoft has expressed interest in acquiring a Warner Bros. gaming unit. Warner parent AT&T last month was said to mull selling the division.

Microsoft  (MSFT) - Get Free Report has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring the games division of AT&T's  (T) - Get Free Report Warner Bros.

The software giant is interested in the games division, the Information reported, citing two people familiar with the situation.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, or WB Games, is known for publishing the "Batman: Arkham" series, "Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor," many "Lego" and "Harry Potter" games, "Mortal Kombat," and "The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt."

The unit consists of game-development studios in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

Last month, media reports said AT&T was considering a sale of the gaming business in a possible $4 billion deal.

AT&T acquired the gaming business as part of the 2018 buyout of Time Warner assets. This deal and the 2014 acquisition of DirecTV increased AT&T’s debt and the company has been looking to ways to cut costs and unload assets.

Like other media companies, AT&T is losing revenue as television advertisers pull back on deals with broadcast and cable outlets as the coronavirus continues to hit the U.S. economy hard. 

Neither Microsoft nor AT&T immediately responded to requests for comment.

Recent media reports said AT&T planned to cut more than 3,400 technician and clerical jobs across the country and close stores over the next few weeks as the coronavirus pandemic shutdown has prompted consumers to shop online.

The wireless carrier also plans to permanently close more than 250 stores, which would affect about 1,300 retail jobs, Reuters reported, citing the company's main labor union, the Communications Workers of America.

AT&T said most employees would be offered alternative positions within the company.

AT&T is scheduled to release second-quarter earnings on July 23.

At last check shares of Microsoft were up 2.2% to $210.74, while AT&T was up 1.1% to $30.40.