That's one of the revelations from a new report in Bloomberg today that traces AT&T's roots from a modest phone company to a massive telcom and pay-TV behemoth with even bigger media ambitions. According to the report, Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chief executive, keeps a spreadsheet of about 40 to 45 peer companies and potential takeover targets.
The company reportedly considered buying Paramount—the movie studio owned by the beleaguered Viacom Inc.—before deciding against the move. It also made a bid for Starz before that company was scooped up by Lions Gate Entertainment, Bloomberg reports. One analyst even suggested AT&T could benefit from a takeover of Time Warner Inc.