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America Online (AOL) - the internet division of media giant Time Warner - lost two million subscribers in the US last year as it continues to face increased competition from rivals.

At the end of December AOL had 22.2m US subscribers down 464,000 on the previous quarter and two million fewer than a year ago. In Europe, the picture is a little more mixed. AOL Europe has 6.3m subscribers - an increase of 9,000 on the previous quarter but still down 49,000 on the year.

On the financial side, for the full year revenues rose one per cent - $94m (£50m) - to $8.7bn (£4.6bn) thanks to a 28 per cent increase in ad revenues offset partially by a two per cent dip in subscription revenues.

The fall in punters led to subscription revenues declining by $370m (£196m) in the US. The internet business also had to cough up an extra $64m (£34m) in tax (VAT) in Europe.

Overall, Time Warner saw revenues rise six per cent to $42.1bn (£22.3bn) with adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortisation climbing 17 per cent to $1.8bn (£955m). ®

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