America Online's acquisition of CompuServe Online Services from long-distance company WorldCom, in a deal announced today, will allow AOL to expand its advertising and commerce initiatives to 11 million subscribers, up from its current 8 million membership. In exchange for CompuServe, AOL is exiting the telephone business by selling WorldCom its Internet telco subsidiary ANS Communications for $175 million. In addition, AOL's European media partner, German media giant Bertelsmann AG, will pay AOL $75 million to co-market CompuServe's European online services, with a reported 850,000 subscribers, to AOL Europe's 650,000 members. "I think it's a win-win situation for everyone involved," commented Peter Krasilovsky, VP-analayst, Arlen Communications.
Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.