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Time-Warner, Turner Approve Merger

Time-Warner has reached an agreement to buy Turner Broadcasting System, in a deal that further boosts Time-Warner's standing as the world's largest entertainment and media conglomerate. Under the pact, Time-Warner will purchase 82 percent of Turner Broadcasting, in a deal worth an estimated $7.5 billion, according to published reports. The merger gives Time-Warner access to the treasures of Ted Turner's empire, including the Cable News Network (CNN), the Cartoon Network, the Atlanta Braves baseball team, and two movie studios. Ted Turner will become a major shareholder and vice chairman of Time-Warner, according to the Associated Press. The boards of Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting held all-day meetings Thursday to hammer out details of the merger, and reconvened Friday morning to finalize the deal. John Malone, the outspoken chairman of Tele-Communications Incorporated (TCI), the nation's largest cable TV service provider, agreed to support the merger after getting some concessions such as long-term contracts to carry Turner programming on TCI systems, according to AP. The combined Time-Warner/Turner would have annual revenues of about $18.5 billion, surpassing that of Walt Disney Company, which recently agreed to acquire Capital Cities/ABC.