AOL, Time Merger Offers Giant Marketing Opportunities

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Yesterday's news of a merger between America Online, Dulles, VA, and Time Warner Inc., New York, creates significant marketing possibilities for both companies.

Time Warner gains access to America Online's reported 20 million online subscribers. AOL will be able to tap Time Warner's cable system for distribution and promotion of its service, and have access to Time's print, music and movie businesses.

As outlined in published reports yesterday, AOL will purchase all of Time Warner's outstanding shares for an estimated $163 billion. The new company would be called AOL Time Warner. AOL chairman and CEO Steve Case would become chairman of the new company, while Time Warner chairman and CEO Gerald Levin would become CEO.

The merger plan was unanimously approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to be completed by the end of the year, provided all terms meet are approved by either the Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission.

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