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Squawk On The Street

Major Media M&A Monday -- AT&T to Merge Its WarnerMedia Unit With Discovery, The Reopening Trade and the CDC's Defense of Its Mask Wearing Guidelines, and the Bitcoin Rollercoaster Courtesy of Elon Musk

Carl Quintanilla, Jim Cramer and David Faber led off the show with the big deal of the morning: AT&T and Discovery announced a deal to combine Discovery with AT&T’s WarnerMedia unit. The combination would be co-owned by current shareholders of both companies, and would put streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+ under one roof — positioning it to challenge the likes of Netflix and Disney+. The anchors explored what the WarnerMedia-Discovery merger could mean for the streaming landscape, the media industry overall and investors. The reopening trade also in focus after the CDC defended the agency’s decision to tell people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 they can go without a mask — but the new guidelines do not lift local mask mandates. The anchors reacted to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky’s comments on NBC’s “Meet The Press” — and explored the challenges businesses are facing in wake of the decision on masks. Companies such as Walmart, Starbucks and Costco have dropped their mask requirements. On the crypto front, Elon Musk out with tweets clarifying “Tesla has not sold any Bitcoin.” This coming after his tweets over the weekend hinting the automaker was considering or may have already sold some of its Bitcoin holdings. Bitcoin recouped some of its losses after the cryptocurrency fell below $43,000. Also in focus: What’s sending stocks lower after a volatile week, plus Spotify CEO Daniel Ek saying his bid to acquire U.K. soccer club Arsenal was rejected.

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