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Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 09:26 GMT 10:26 UK
Time Warner: An entertainment blue chip
Warner Bros website
Warner Brothers Online is part of Time Warner's internet operation
It is a giant with products ranging from rolling news station CNN to TV's Friends, to Time magazine.

That is not to mention Time Warner's movie making history which continues to the present day with The Matrix, Austin Powers, The Cell, Blade and You've Got Mail among recent hits.

Then there is the record label with a stable of stars such as Alanis Morissette and Simply Red.

Time Warner
Headquarters: New York
Formed in 1990
Employees: 69,000
1999 revenue: $27.3bn
Market Value: $112.6bn
TV services in 15 countries and seven languages, including CNN
Largest premium TV network, HBO (35m US subscribers)
Film studios Warner Bros.
Second largest US cable system (13m subscribers)
120m magazine readers
320,000 high-speed Internet subscribers
In the 10 months since the merger plan was announced, its stock market value has risen from $88.3bn to 112.6bn.

Mergers 'R' Us

Time Warner itself was created in large part by two previous giant mergers.

The first was between Time Inc and Warner Communications in 1989.

Both Time, the publisher of the magazine of the same name, and Warner, which includes Bugs Bunny among its stars, have a history stretching back 75 years or so.

The second mega-merger came with Turner Broadcasting in 1996, a move which saw CNN founder Ted Turner join the group as deputy chairman.

Broadband expansion

The two mergers created a giant ready to play a leading role in all major media - at least in the days when the internet was still an infant.

The merger with AOL will help the company to shore up its digital media ventures.

But the company says it that it has always been at the forefront of technological innovation.

In 1975 the company was a pioneer of satellite broadcasting, with the launch of the HBO television network in the US.

Friends actors
Friends is one of Time Warner's current hits
It has also built considerable fibre-optic cable networks in the US, was one of the key players in the launch of DVDs and includes in its stable the CD Now e-commerce site.

But this latest merger, with internet pioneer America Online, takes it into the internet big league and places it in a prime position to take advantage of the growth of broadband delivery of television and internet at home.

If content is what is required for the successful exploitation of the new information technologies, then Time Warner brings to AOL a vast array of household names from the media and entertainments industries.

Its network includes:

  • Cable networks CNN and HBO
  • More than 5,700 films
  • 32,000 television titles including Friends, ER and Pokemon
  • Magazines ranging from Time and People to Sports Illustrated
  • 21 million homes in the US are passed by its cable network.

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