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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 April 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
America Online to rebrand as AOL
America Online
America Online's customer base has fallen since peaking in 2002
America Online, the internet division of Time Warner, is to rebrand itself to be known simply as AOL.

"Our company long ago accomplished the mission implied by our old name," said Jon Miller, chief executive of AOL.

"Our new corporate identity also reflects our expanded mission to make everyone's online experience better," Mr Miller added.

AOL started out as Quantum Computer Services in 1985, and started offering an internet service four years later.

The company changed its name to America Online in 1991.

AOL will also change from being a corporation to being a limited liability company.

Falling subscribers

AOL merged with Time Warner in 2001 to create AOL Time Warner, but when the tech bubble deflated, parent company Time Warner returned to being simply Time Warner.

At its height AOL had 26.7 million subscribers in September 2002, but by last December this figure had fallen by more than 25%.

Through its European operation AOL Europe, the company serves about 6 million customers in Britain, France and Germany.

Late last year internet search engine Google confirmed it would invest $1bn for a 5% stake in Time Warner's AOL unit as part of a major strategic alliance. The deal valued AOL at $20bn.

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