AOLTW to shorten name by getting rid of AOL tag

MUMBAI: A little over two and a half years have gone by since internet company America Online merged with Time Warner. Now the chickens have come home to roost as far as the online unit is concerned.


AOL Time Warner is all set to get rid of the AOL moniker which has proven to be a source of embarrasement for the executives of Time Warner. A board meeting will take place tomorrow which is expected to put the name change into effect. While AOL's boss Jon Miller has been arguing for a name change since last month all the problems stem from his division. As reported earlier by in July while Time Warner reported strong second-quarter earnings AOL's operating income was reduced by 23 per cent to $210 million from $247 million. AOL lost 846,000 subscribers in the quarter, more than analysts were expecting. Adding to Time Warner's woes was the fact that the Securities and Exchange Commission found problems with AOL's accounting of two deals with Germany's Bertelsmann.

The company will now go back to its pre-merger stock ticker of TWX, change all its signs and corporate stationary. It will rename its new headquarters at Columbus Circle the Time Warner building. The company will start occupying the building in March. 

Meanwhile a CNNmoney report indicates that since the merger the company has lost $200 billion of market value. Employees' retirement accounts have been destroyed.

In related news despite negotiations to merge with BMG, AOL Time Warner is eyeing a sale of a majority stake in Warner Music to EMI. EMI made a $3.5 billion offer for Warner Music's recorded music business earlier this year, but was rejected. The New York Post reports that there is market speculation that EMI's sale of $243 million in convertible bonds was made to secure financing for another aim at Warner. Negotiations between Warner and BMG have slowed down because the two companies use different accounting methods.

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