Feeds

AOL mops up Bertelsmann stake

Time Warner makes them best of enemies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

It's been on the cards since AOL acquired Time-Warner, but now it's happened: AOL has agreed to buy Bertelsmann's 50 percent stake in AOL Europe and AOL Australia to AOL for $6.75 to $8.25 billion - but not until after January 2002. In Europe, AOL has around 15 per cent of the market, according to Datamonitor. CEO Thomas Middelhoff told Welt am Sonntag that Bertelsmann now has DM75 billion ($37 billion) for acquisitions after deciding to concentrate on content. The sum is arrived at if Bertelsmann mortgages the AOL cash, if it is needed before the transaction closes. Immediate plans are to fill gaps in Bertelsmann's Hispanic, French, Italian and Asian portfolio, with perhaps US newspaper acquisitions and more TV interests in Europe. Another objective is probably an increased presence in online book sales -- the company has been digitising all its intellectual property with a view to selling on-demand books over the Web. So far, Bertelsmann has sold AOL shares worth more than DM1 billion. After the disposals, Bertelsmann will still have 0.7 per cent of AOL, which it intends to sell at an opportune moment, Middelhoff said. Middelhoff had announced his resignation from the AOL board, if the Time-Warner merger went through, because in some areas there was direct competition. The subsequent intended merger between Time-Warner and EMI extended the area of overlap to the music business, after Bertelsmann failed to acquire EMI. However, Sony Music could still be a Bertelsmann target. BOL International, the Internet music/bookstore will also be floated next quarter, it was announced over the weekend. Bertelsmann was given the chance to merge with AOL before the Time-Warner deal was sealed, but declined to do so, according to a report in Time Europe. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.