AOL is going to be going it alone from now, following a decision by the Time-Warner board of directors to cut America Online loose and to have AOL go it alone.
The ouster of AOL by Time Warner is expected to take place by the end of the year. First, TW has to purchase back the 5% of AOL that Google currently holds; that purchase transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of this year, making it possible to complete the spin-off by the end of 2009.
Ironically, it was only 6 years ago that Google paid $1 billion for their 5% share of AOL, and only 3 years before that that Time Warner paid a mind-boggling $16 billion to bring AOL into the Time Warner family.
Said Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, “We believe that a separation will be the best outcome for both Time Warner and AOL. The separation will be another critical step in the reshaping of Time Warner that we started at the beginning of last year, enabling us to focus to an even greater degree on our core content businesses.
“The separation will also provide both companies with greater operational and strategic flexibility. We believe AOL will then have a better opportunity to achieve its full potential as a leading independent internet company,” added Bewkes.
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