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AOL appeals for 2,500 job axe volunteers

Imminent Time Warner divorce puts web firm in bedsit

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AOL has asked 2,500 workers to volunteer for redundancy packages at the ailing web firm.

The company currently employs 6,900 staff. AOL hopes that enough volunteers will step forward otherwise layoffs will follow, it said.

The firm’s owner Time Warner plans to set AOL adrift next month. It’s told employees that the voluntary offer would be open from 4 December through to 11 December.

New York and Northern Virginia-based AOL hopes to cut $300m in annual costs as a result of the job cuts. However, the company’s board of directors hasn’t approved the cull yet.

The merger of AOL and Time Warner cost somewhere in the region of $160bn at the height of dot-com lunacy in 2000.

AOL started out as an internet service provider distributing millions of promotional CDs. It sold its UK dial-up business to Carphone Warehouse and is now trying to redefine itself as a content provider and ad sales organisation.

Time Warner said AOL would foot a $200m bill for severance and other costs related to the restructuring. ®

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