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Microsoft eyeing AOL?
Report says Time Warner executives have held talks recently about sale of online unit to Microsoft.
March 19, 2004: 6:34 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Time Warner Inc. may be looking into the possibility of selling its AOL unit to Microsoft, according to a published report Friday.

The New York Post, citing people familiar with the situation, said Time Warner executives have held talks in recent months with Microsoft about a potential sale of AOL.

The deal being discussed within Time Warner would include Microsoft (MSFT: Research, Estimates) paying cash plus the assumption of debt to acquire AOL, the paper said, adding that Microsoft may even be considering a possible investment in Time Warner Cable.

Time Warner
Microsoft Corporation

Both companies are already in discussions about ways to use Microsoft technology in Time Warner's content businesses, and discussions about a deal for AOL emanated from those talks, the report said.

According to the report, Time Warner lawyers have also been analyzing possible antitrust issues from such a deal, and have indicated there would be few roadblocks to Microsoft's acquisition of AOL.

The Post quoted Time Warner spokesman Ed Adler as saying "such speculation is silly and pointless." Microsoft declined to comment on the matter, the report said.

AOL is a division of Time Warner (TWX: Research, Estimates), the parent company of CNN/Money.  Top of page

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