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AT&T is getting ready to acquire all of Otter Media, the streaming video company it co-owns with Peter Chernin

Fresh off its Time Warner acquisition, AT&T has another content deal in the works.

Peter Chernin
Peter Chernin
Kevork Djansezian / Getty
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

AT&T just spent $85 billion on a media company. But it’s not done writing checks for content: The company plans on acquiring all of Otter Media, the internet video company it currently co-owns with The Chernin Group.

The deal, which should close this summer, has been in the works for a couple of years, but was on hold until AT&T’s Time Warner acquisition closed, according to sources familiar with the companies’ plans.

Buying Otter will give AT&T full control of assets including FullScreen, a video company that began life as a YouTube network, and Crunchyroll, a subscription anime service.

I don’t know what AT&T plans on paying for Otter Media, but industry observers assume the deal will value the company north of $1 billion. When AT&T first started working with The Chernin Group in 2014, it said it had committed more than $500 million to the joint venture.

AT&T, Otter Media and The Chernin Group declined to comment.

AT&T’s plan to own all of Otter Media has been an open secret. Whenever I talked to anyone who worked at an Otter Media company over the past few years, they told me that they assumed they were eventually going to become AT&T employees.

I’m not sure what AT&T plans to do with Otter now, or how it fits into a content portfolio that suddenly includes HBO, CNN and Warner Bros. The JV is currently run by Tony Goncalves, a former AT&T exec. People familiar with the company’s plans say he’ll report to AT&T content boss John Stankey once the deal is finalized.

Also unclear: Next steps for The Chernin Group, which has stakes in startups including Barstool Sports, the rowdy sports programmer, and Headspace, the meditation app, along with a film and TV production arm. One obvious choice for the company, run by Hollywood veteran Peter Chernin: Raising a new investment fund.

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