America Online, Dulles, Va., will acquire Time Warner, New York, in a deal valued at $184 billion--the largest corporate merger to date and the first time an Internet company has acquired a blue-chip "old media" company with properties in publishing, cable, movies and music. In the deal announced today, AOL shareholders will own 55% of AOL Time Warner Inc. even though AOL accounts for only 20% of the new entity's revenue. The agreement, expected to close by the end of the year, gives AOL a wealth of content to distribute across its network, while it opens up new territory for Time Warner to make that content (CNN, Sports Illustrated
and Warner Bros. films, to name a few) available. For both, it stands to spur new cross-marketing opportunities and growth in e-commerce and ad revenues.
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