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TW, MS deny AOL buyout dialogue

'Entirely inaccurate', apparently

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Both AOL and Microsoft have denied reports that the pair are engaged in buyout talks.

The New York Post on Friday said that Time Warner has held talks with Microsoft concerning the sale of its Internet division, AOL, to the giant software outfit.

However, an AOL spokesperson has been quoted as saying that the story is "entirely inaccurate".

Last week the same paper reported that Time Warner's banker, Goldman Sachs, is working on a series of proposals concerning the future of AOL.

Options include flogging the business, floating it, or engaging in a "significant restructuring".

The proposals are due to be discussed by senior execs next month at a board meeting.

Speculation about the future of AOL follows news that the number of AOL punters in the US fell by 2.2m last year. ®

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