AOL Reclaims Bertelsmann Europe and Australia Stake

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America Online Inc. Friday said it will pay $6.75 billion to $8.25 billion in cash or stock to buy German media giant Bertelsmann's share in AOL Europe and AOL Australia. The deal by Dulles, VA-based America Online to regain control of the two Internet service providers is expected to close after Jan. 31, 2002. Bertelsmann will use the proceeds from America Online to finance its e-commerce and content activities. Both companies, however, will continue their relationship in a new four-year, $250 million deal in which Bertelsmann will become a preferred provider of media content and

e-commerce across all America Online brands worldwide. The alliance includes cross-promotion on their respective properties and broadband distribution for America Online and AOL Europe brands.

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