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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 November, 2004, 16:53 GMT
Time Warner sets aside legal fund
Warner Village Cinema
Time Warner hopes to draw a line under AOL's problems
Media giant Time Warner has set aside $500m (280m) to cover costs arising from an ongoing official inquiry into the accounts of its AOL internet unit.

But the firm played down speculation of a settlement deal, saying it could not predict the outcome of the inquiry.

The probe centres on how AOL accounted for a 2002 deal in which it acquired full control of a joint venture it had set up with Germany's Bertelsmann.

Time Warner added that third-quarter profits fell 8% on the year to $499m.

Revenues came in at $9.96bn, up 5% on the year, and ahead of the $9.84bn forecast by analysts.

AOL subscriber numbers fell for the seventh consecutive quarter, with 646,000 users deserting the service compared with the previous three-month period.

Time Warner said it was planning to restate AOL's earnings for 2000 and 2001.

Time Warner shares were up 12 cents at $16.40 in early trade in New York.

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