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BT and Sky in chase for AOL UK - report

Price a bit steep though

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BSkyB and BT are reportedly close to making a bid for AOL UK although both firms are understood to be unhappy at the £1bn price tag.

The Sunday Times reports that the deadline for offers could be as early as this week after AOL UK parent Time Warner called in bankers Citigroup to conduct a strategic review of its European operations.

The newspaper reports that one insider says a more realistic price tag for the business would be around £660m.

Sky - which bought LLU operator EasyNet last year for £211m - is due to unveil details of its own broadband access service later this summer.

Although one of the options for the strategic review could be the full or partial sale of the business, AOL has consistently said its preferred option would be to form some kind of partnership.

Last week, the Carphone Warehouse was named as a possible suitor for AOL UK.

However, while boss Charles Dunstone said he would be keeping a "close eye" on the sale of the AOL business, he added that he felt "no pressure" to grow his TalkTalk telecoms business by acquisition. ®

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