(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Time Warner has agreed to sell AOL Germany's Internet access business to Telecom Italia for 675 million euros ($856 million), the companies said, giving the Milan company a firm foothold in the German market.
The all-cash deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close early in 2007.
Once complete, it will make Milan-based Telecom Italia the second-biggest provider of broadband Internet in Germany with 3.2 million customers, behind T-Online International, part of Deutsche Telekom.
The deal will bring to more than 9 million the number of Telecom Italia subscribers in Italy, France and Germany.
AOL Germany has 1.1 million broadband users and 1.3 million subscribers who use dial-up or ISDN to access the Internet.
'This acquisition marks a further step in Telecom Italia's strategy of focusing on broadband services and content delivery at an international level,' Telecom Italia CEO Riccardo Ruggiero said in a statement.
The decision was expected after AOL said in August that it planed to cut 5,000 jobs, or a quarter of its global work force, as it restructured its business to draw more advertising revenue.
Under the deal, AOL will offer its co-branded services on a joint Web portal for Telecom Italia users and will design, host and operate audience services for Telecom Italia customers in Germany.
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