The Mating of...
AOL & TIME-WARNER
Sightings from The Catbird Seat
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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
AOL LLC (formerly America Online, Inc) is an American online service provider, bulletin board system, and media company operated by Time Warner.
AOL is based in the city of Dulles in Loudoun County, Virginia. With regional branches around the world, the former American "goliath among Internet service providers" once had more than 30 million subscribers on several continents.
In January 2000, AOL and Time Warner announced plans to merge. The terms of the deal negotiated called for AOL shareholders to own 55% of the new, combined company. The deal closed on January 11, 2001 after receiving regulatory approval from the FTC, the Federal Communications Commission and the European Union.
AOL Time Warner, as the company was then called, was led by executives from both AOL and Time Warner. Gerald Levin, who had served as CEO of Time Warner, was CEO of the new company. Steve Case served as Chairman, J. Michael Kelly (from AOL) was the Chief Financial Officer, Robert W. Pittman (from AOL) and Dick Parsons (from Time Warner) served as Co-Chief Operating Officers.
The total value of AOL stock subsequently plummeted from about $226 billion to about $20 billion.
AOL is a company in transition, made evident by discussions of buy-outs and joint ventures during a period of dramatic decline in AOL's subscriber base. News reports in fall 2005 identified companies such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google as candidates for turning AOL into a joint venture; those plans were apparently abandoned when it was revealed on December 20, 2005 that Google would purchase a 5% share of AOL for $1 billion....
Change in focus
Since its merger with Time Warner, the value of AOL has dropped from its $200 billion high and it has seen similar losses among its subscription rate. It has since attempted to reposition itself as a content provider similar to companies such as Yahoo! as opposed to an Internet service provider which delivered content only to subscribers in what was termed a "walled garden"...
Being named #1 in PC World's list of the 25 worst tech products of all time, AOL has been involved in many controversies....
Prior to mid 2005, AOL used volunteers called Community Leaders, or CLs, to monitor chatrooms, message boards, and libraries. Some community leaders were recruited for content design and maintenance using a proprietary language and interface called RAINMAN, although most content maintenance was performed by partner and internal employees.
In 1999, Kelly Hallissey and Brian Williams, former Community Leaders and founders of an anti-AOL website, filed a class action lawsuit against AOL citing violations of U.S. labor laws in its usage of CLs. The Department of Labor investigated but came to no conclusions, closing their investigation in 2001. In light of these events, AOL began drastically reducing the responsibilities and privileges of its volunteers in 2000. The program was eventually ended on June 8, 2005. Current Community Leaders at the time were offered 12 months of credit on their accounts....
In response to approximately 300 consumer complaints, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office began an inquiry of AOL’s customer service policies.
The investigation revealed that the company had an elaborate scheme for rewarding employees who purported to retain or "save" subscribers who had called to cancel their Internet service. In many instances, such retention was done against subscribers’ wishes, or without their consent. Under the scheme, consumer service personnel received bonuses worth tens of thousands of dollars if they could successfully dissuade or "save" half of the people who called to cancel service....
Many consumers complained that AOL personnel ignored their demands to cancel service and stop billing. On August 24, 2005, America Online agreed to pay $1.25 million to the state of New York and reformed its customer service procedures. Under the agreement, AOL will no longer require its customer service representatives to meet a minimum quota for customer retention in order to receive a bonus. However, many AOL users outside New York still claim to have problems canceling their accounts....
On August 3, 2006, Time Warner announced that the company would be dissolving AOL's retention centers due to its profits hingeing on $1 billion in cost cuts. The company estimates that it will lose more than six million subscribers over the next year...
Censorship in mainland China
AOL, along with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Cisco, Skype, and others, has cooperated with the Chinese government in implementing a system of Internet censorship in mainland China.
Many critics of these corporate policies argue that it is wrong for companies to profit from censorship and restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of speech.
Human rights advocates such as Human Rights Watch and media groups such as Reporters Without Borders point out that if companies would stop contributing to the authorities' censorship efforts the government could be forced to change....
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From Stupid White Men (Copyright 2001), by Michael Moore:
When not fighting wars, Colin Powell sat on the boards of Gulfstream Aerospace and AOL. Gulfstream makes jets for both Hollywood honchos and foreign governments like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
During his time at AOL, the company merged with Time Warner, and Powell’s stock rose in value by $4 million. At the time, Colin’s son, Michael Powell, had been the only Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member who advocated that the AOL/Time Warner merger go through without question.
Powell’s son has since been named chairman of the FCC by George W. Bush; part of his job is to oversee the activities of AOL/Time Warner.
He will also oversee any regulation of AOL’s monopolistic “instant messaging” technology.
For more, GO TO > > > Flocking With The FCC; Hail to The Chief; The Impeachment of George W. Bush; The Mating of AOL & Time Warner; Nests in the Pentagon; The Rise & Fall of Summit Communications; Vultures of the Sandwich Isles
February 7, 2006
Time Warner Faces New
Billion-Dollar AOL Lawsuit
By David Needle
Time Warner (Quote) faces more headaches over an old problem -– disgruntled shareholders.
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP, today announced a multi-billion-dollar lawsuit over the takeover of AOL by Time Warner in 2001. The firm said it is representing approximately 100 institutional investors around the globe who have "opted-out" of the AOL Time Warner class action settlement.
These clients, which the firm said have suffered losses of almost $1.6 billion, including pre-judgment interest, will be pursuing individual suits designed to maximize the recovery of the losses they suffered due to violations of federal and state securities laws in connection with the AOL Time Warner merger in January 2001.
These new "opt-out" clients are in addition to several other institutions that the firm has been representing in individual suits arising out of the AOL Time Warner merger.
The Ohio and California cases are scheduled to go to trial later in 2006.
"We applaud the Minnesota State Board of Investment for stepping forward to lead the class action for AOL Time Warner investors," said William S. Lerach in a statement. "The $2.6 billion class-action settlement is one of the highest recoveries ever for shareholders.
"The institutions that are filing their actions individually have decided to pursue a different strategy that has the objective of obtaining a higher percentage recovery of their losses than is possible in the class action context," he said.
In the years immediately following the 2001 merger, which saw AOL Time Warner stock plummet, the company had to restate financial results for eight prior quarters, resulting in a reduction of $190 million in revenues and $97 million less in cash earnings.
The media giant lost nearly $100 billion in value in 2002.
In January 2003, AOL founder and CEO Steve Case, one of the main architects of the merger with Time Warner, resigned.
And this may only be part of the suits Lerach, et al. is planning. In addition to the "opt-out" suits, the law firm said there are many other existing or contemplated "opt-out" suits on behalf of other institutions involving additional billions of dollars of claims against AOL Time Warner....
Living in a Zionist Government
The largest media conglomerate today is AOL-Time Warner, created when AOL bought Time Warner for $160 billion in 2000. The merger brought together Steve Case, a Gentile, as chairman of AOL-TW, and Time Warner chairman Gerald Levin, a Jew, as the CEO. Although AOL-TW isn't (yet) run entirely by Jews, the effect of this blend of leadership between a White capitalist whose biggest concern is money and a racially conscious Jew will be gradually to increase the Jewish influence within AOL. Steve Case won't complain when Gerald Levin begins hiring mostly Jews to fill key positions beneath him because Case's own profits won't be affected. After Case dies or retires, the Jews will have complete control at AOL.
Before the merger, AOL was the largest Internet service provider in America, and it will now be used as an online platform for the Jewish content from Time Warner.
Time Warner, Inc., with 1997 revenues of more than $13 billion, was the second largest of the international media leviathans when it was bought by AOL. Levin, chairman and CEO of Time Warner, had bought Turner Broadcasting Systems in 1996 from Ted Turner, who had been one of the few Gentile entrepreneurs in the media business. Ted Turner, as the company president, became the number three man at AOL-TW, after Case and Levin.
When Ted Turner, the Gentile media maverick, made a bid to buy CBS in 1985, there was panic in media boardrooms across the nation. Turner had made a fortune in advertising and then had built a successful cable-TV news network, CNN, with over 70 million subscribers. Although Turner employed a number of Jews in key executive positions in CNN and had never taken public positions contrary to Jewish interests, he is a man with a large ego and a strong personality and was regarded by Chairman William Paley and the other Jews at CBS as uncontrollable: a loose cannon who might at some time in the future turn against them. Furthermore, Jewish newsman Daniel Schorr, who had worked for Turner, publicly charged that his former boss held a personal dislike for Jews.
To block Turner's bid, CBS executives invited billionaire Jewish theater, hotel, insurance, and cigarette magnate Laurence Tisch to launch a "friendly" takeover of the company, and from 1986 until 1995 Tisch was the chairman and CEO of CBS, removing any threat of non-Jewish influence there. Subsequent efforts by Turner to acquire a major network were obstructed by Levin's Time Warner, which owns nearly 20 percent of CBS stock and has veto power over major deals. When his fellow Jew Sumner Redstone offered to buy CBS for $34.8 billion in 1999, Levin had no objection.
Thus, despite being an innovator and garnering headlines, Turner never commanded the "connections" necessary for being a true media master. He finally decided if you can't lick 'em, join 'em, and he sold out to Levin. Ted Turner is in one respect a reflection of Steve Case. Both of these White men are capitalists with no discernible degree of racial consciousness or responsibility. In July 2001, AOL Time Warner announced that yet another Jew, Walter Isaacson, formerly the editorial director of Time, Inc., will become the new chairman and CEO of CNN News Group, which oversees the news empire that Ted Turner built.
Time Warner's subsidiary HBO is the country's largest pay-TV cable network. Until the purchase in May 1998 of PolyGram by Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Warner Music was America's largest record company, with 50 labels, the biggest of which is Warner Brothers Records. Warner Music was an early promoter of "gangsta rap." Through its involvement with Interscope Records (prior to Interscope's acquisition by MCA), it helped to popularize a genre whose graphic lyrics explicitly urge Blacks to commit acts of violence against Whites.
In addition to cable and music, Time Warner is heavily involved in the production of feature films (Warner Brothers Studio, Castle Rock Entertainment, and New Line Cinema) and in publishing. Time Warner's publishing division (editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine, a Jew) is the largest magazine publisher in the country (Time, Sports Illustrated, People, Fortune).
The second-largest media conglomerate today, with 1997 revenues of $23 billion, is the Walt Disney Company. Its chairman and CEO, Michael Eisner, is a Jew. The Disney empire, headed by a man described by one media analyst as "a control freak," includes several television production companies (Walt Disney Television, Touchstone Television, Buena Vista Television) and cable networks with more than 100 million subscribers altogether.
As for feature films, the Walt Disney Motion Pictures Group, under Walt Disney Studios, headed by Joseph E. Roth (also a Jew), includes Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Hollywood Pictures, and Caravan Pictures. Roth founded Caravan Pictures in January 1993, and it is now headed by his fellow Jew Roger Birnbaum. Disney also owns Miramax Films, run by the Weinstein brothers, Bob and Harvey, who have produced such ultra-raunchy movies as The Crying Game, Priest, and Kids.
When the Disney Company was run by the Gentile Disney family, prior to its takeover by Eisner in 1984, it epitomized wholesome, family entertainment. While it still holds the rights to Snow White, the company under Eisner has expanded into the production of a great deal of so-called "adult" material.
In August 1995, Eisner acquired Capital Cities/ABC, Inc., which owns the ABC Television Network, which in turn owns ten TV stations outright in such big markets as New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Houston. In addition, it has 225 affiliated stations in the United States and is part owner of several European TV companies.
ABC's cable subsidiary, ESPN, is headed by president and CEO Steven Bornstein, who is a Jew. The corporation also has a controlling share of Lifetime Television and A & E Television Networks cable companies, with 67 million subscribers each. ABC Radio Network owns 26 AM and FM stations, again in major cities such as New York, Washington, and Los Angeles, and has over 3,400 affiliates.
Although primarily a telecommunications company, Capital Cities/ABC earned over $1 billion in publishing in 1997. It owns seven daily newspapers, Fairchild Publications (Women's Wear Daily), Chilton Publications (automotive manuals), and the Diversified Publishing Group.
Number three on the list, with 1997 revenues of just over $13 billion, is Viacom, Inc., headed by Sumner Redstone (born Murray Rothstein). Viacom, which produces and distributes TV programs for the three largest networks, owns 13 television stations and 12 radio stations. It produces feature films through Paramount Pictures, headed by Jewess Sherry Lansing. Redstone acquired CBS following the December 1999 stockholders' votes at CBS and Viacom....
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See also: Parrots in the Newsroom; Tracking the Flock of AIPAC Vultures; Vampires in Disneyland; What Price Waterhouse?
December 12, 2005
'Undo' AOL-Time Warner Merger
By W. David Gardner, TechWeb Technology News
AOL co-founder Steve Case, who played an instrumental role in merging the online company into Time Warner, now says he wants to "undo" the merger, which cost Time Warner shareholders billions of dollars.
"Although I played a key role in bringing AOL and Time Warner together six years ago," Case wrote Sunday, "it's now my view that it would be best to 'undo' the merger by splitting Time Warner into several independent companies and allowing AOL to set off on its own path." His comments were made in an essay in The Washington Post.
Case's comments, which also included criticisms of Time Warner management, came as the firm continued negotiations with Microsoft and Google over possible partnerships with the AOL unit. The negotiations, which are said to involve Microsoft using its search engine, are being carried out as Wall Street financier Carl Icahn continues to blast Time Warner management, too. Although Icahn and Case promote similar agendas for AOL, Case said the two haven't been in touch. Both men are substantial stockholders in Time Warner.
In his essay, Case noted that the AOL-Time Warner "merger of the century" quickly became "the worst merger in history." Case said most criticism of the merger has focused on its failure to yield expected benefits to Time Warner. "It is worth noting that the combination has not helped AOL much either," he wrote.
As for Time Warner's current management team, its members have said they are focused on their own plan for improving shareholder value. Goggle currently provides search capability to AOL. An AOL-Microsoft deal, however, could result in AOL dropping Google.
For its part, Google said it intends to continue to work closely and successfully with AOL.
July 31, 2002
Kirby McInerney & Squire LLP Commences
Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of
AOL Time Warner Investors -- AOL
NEW YORK, July 31, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Please take notice that the law firm of Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP has commenced a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of all persons: (i) who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of America Online, Inc. ("AOL") between July 19, 1999 and January 10, 2001; or (ii) all persons who purchased, converted, exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) between January 11, 2001 and July 17, 2002. The action seeks to recover losses suffered by such investors.
A copy of the complaint is available from the Court or from Kirby McInerney & Squire. Please visit our website, which offers summary and detailed information concerning the case at www.kmslaw.com/new_cases/aol/aol.htm, or contact us by phone at (888) 529-4787 or by email at email@example.com.
The complaint asserts claims for violations of Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 against AOL Time Warner, Ernst & Young, LLP (AOL Time Warner's auditor), and several AOL and AOL Time Warner senior executives (including the Chief Financial Officers for AOL and AOL Time Warner).
The alleged violations, according to the complaint, stem from materially false and misleading statements made by the defendants between July 19,1999 and July 17, 2002 (the "Class Period") that, as detailed below: (i) materially misrepresented and inflated the revenues reported by AOL from its online advertising operations during the class period; and (ii) thereby caused AOL and AOL Time Warner stock to trade at artificially-inflated prices during that time.
The complaint alleges that, during the class period, defendants misrepresented to the public: (i) the true nature and amount of revenues derived from online advertising (which defendants overstated in contravention of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles); and (ii) the synergies from, and financial effects of, the merger with Time Warner.
As disclosed by the Washington Post on July 18, 2002, and as detailed in the complaint, defendants inflated AOL's publicly-reported on-line advertising revenues through a variety of accounting mechanisms that transformed other transactions (such as legal settlements, barter transactions, one-time penalty charges, and revenues in fact destined for other companies) into purported on-line advertising revenue earned by AOL.
Ernst & Young, as the complaint alleges, certified these financial results as accurate, despite their alleged violations of GAAP. According to the complaint, the false and inflated advertising revenues reported by the defendants, as well as the defendants' misleadingly positive statements concerning the financial effects of the AOL Time Warner merger, had the effect of artificially inflating the share price of AOL and AOL Time Warner. The suit seeks to recover losses suffered by investors who purchased AOL Time Warner shares during the class period at such inflated prices and who were damaged thereby.
Plaintiffs are represented by Kirby McInerney & Squire, LLP, which specializes in complex litigation, including securities class actions....
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January 25, 1996
Why It's All AOL's Fault
by Jeff Manson
America Online (AOL), the largest online service in the world, has an effect on us all. Since Netscape, the leading web browser, and AOL have teamed up, we know it will change the internet. Netscape had been giving out free browsers for a long time, so they had severe financial troubles. Because of this they went to AOL for help. AOL's huge membership (6+ million) will sharply increase profits for Netscape. So, in fact, Netscape needs AOL.
This gives Steve Case, president of AOL, a lot of power, since more people use Netscape then any other browser. The more the AOL membership increases, the more power the online service has, and in effect, the more Steve Case controls Netscape. Soon, Netscape will start censoring (if a browser can do that). It will try to be so user-friendly that the software becomes corrupt, and eventually, AOL will be the internet. (Of course, so many think it is now anyway.)
If AOL has the majority of users of the internet, who knows what might happen. There will be more "me too!"s than ever before. Usenet will become inoperable from the amount of "how do I...", "me too!", and "I'm new, so..." posts that appear. The web will be full of AOL-type web pages. Go to http://home.aol.com/ and browse through a handful of those pages. Imagine 90% of the web that way...it's a scary thought, isn't it?
AOLers are not stupid; they are just uneducated. They sign on to AOL, see the "One-Click Internet" and go in, without knowing what it is or how to use it. They go on usenet, knowing nothing about "netiquette," and post articles of the types described above.
AOL is known for its pornography, vulgarity, sexual harassment, etc. (Just go into a chat room and see.) Even now, when the government and media talk about "inappropriate material on the internet," they are referring to what they heard about AOL. The average American that is online is a member of AOL. People hear about the bad things on the service and, since so many people actually believe that AOL is the internet, think that the entire internet is full of these things.
Yes, there is pornography and other things on the Web and on Usenet (alt.binaries.*), but it's not nearly as accessible as it is on AOL. If I wanted a picture of an 8 year old girl and a dog doing nasty things (I don't, by the way), I wouldn't go on the web or Usenet, I'd go straight to an AOL chat room. In my opinion, if it wasn't for AOL, the CDA wouldn't have gotten past Congress.
If, in the approaching future, AOL has the majority of those online, you know that the government will censor the internet more and more, just because of what's on AOL. What we have to do is get AOLers to cancel their accounts, and go to an ISP (Internet Service Provider. Most do not censor and charge very little per month). This way the internet will remain usable with intelligent posts and with well-written web pages. Hopefully most AOLers will cancel, get on a local provider, and pay a lot less (assuming AOL doesn't charge them after they cancel), and stay on the ISP.
ISPs allow users to educate themselves. An online service provides easy access to loads of information very easily; so the users, expecting the same ease, go on the internet, and become confused and post "me too!"s all over. An ISP has direct access to the internet (ok, technically, a TCP/IP connection via an ISP isn't a direct link, but it's much closer than AOL's "one-click internet"). It's users get online, realize how vast, complex, and unorganized the internet is, and follow a link provided on most ISPs home page to a site on "All about the WWW" or another similar site. They then become learned in "netiquette" and web browsing.
AOL used to be a "stupid filter," taking all the internet-illiterate and putting them in a corner isolated from the rest of the online world. Then they got access to the internet, and the stupids are spreading across the world like a grass fire. Now the ISPs are "Stupid filters," not by isolating the stupids, but by educating them. The users get online, learn about the internet, and in turn they aren't stupid anymore.
The only last hope for the internet is AOL either going out of business or losing enough users to where it doesn't have nearly as much power. This can be accomplished by having veteran or experienced internet users:
1. Being evangelical ISP members by trying to get AOLers to cancel (politely)
2. NOT buying any AOL stocks. This is where Steve C gets all of the money to pay off AOL's loans.
3. (A little out of the ordinary.) Call 1-800-827-6364 and order hundreds of free disks. The time one spend on the line charges AOL by the minute. And each disk that someone orders costs time and money for the disk, packaging, posting, etc.)
Experienced internet users must take part to keep the internet free of uneducated AOLers and Steve Case and his employees. This is very serious; AOL has the power that compares with companies such as Microsoft, IBM, even the government, or -- my god -- the Christian Coalition!
If you are an AOL member, cancel your account right now. It's not hard, and the alternatives are much cheaper, and provide a better service than AOL. E-mail me for more info.
Copyright © 1996, 1997 Jeffrey Manson
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MORE TO COME
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IRAQ BODY COUNT
National Priorities Project - Cost of War
A Timeline of Oil and Violence in Iraq
THE EAGLE HOODED: THE 9-11 COVERUP
PART I - PART II - PART III
For more on the foreign financial wars on American soil...
AIG: The Un-American Group
Alexander & Baldwin
Aloha, Harken Energy!
American Savings Bank: Behind the Blinds
APCOA: Buzzards in the Parking Lot
A Connecticut Yankee in King Kamehameha’s Court
The Blackstone Group
Blessed are the Peacemakers
Broken Trust: The Book
Buzzards in the Bank of Hawaii
Buzzards in the Bank of New York
Buzzards of Paradise
The Carlyle Group
The Chubb Group
Claims By Harmon
Confessions of a Whistleblower
Dirty Gold in Goldman Sachs
DIRTY MONEY, DIRTY POLITICS & BISHOP ESTATE
Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV - Part V - Part VI
First Hawaiian Bank: Behind the Blinds
Flocking with The FCC
Flying High In Hawaii
The Grand (and dirty) Ko Olina
The Harmon Arbitration
The Hawaii Superferry
I Sing The Hawaiian Electric
It’s about the Oil, Stupid!
Kajima: Blood, Bribes & Brutality
The Kamehameha Schools Retirement Plan
Marsh & McLennan: The Marsh Birds
Marsh & McLennan’s Mercer Consulting
Marsh & McLennan’s Putnam Investments
Predators of Paradise
The Puna Connection
Pointing the Finger at WorldPoint
RICO in Paradise
The Harmon Arbitration
The Eagle Hooded
The Great Nest Egg Robberies
The Indonesian Connection
The Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Report
The Rise and Fall of Summit Communications
The Sinking of the Ehime Maru
Vampires on Gilligan’s Island
Vultures in the Merger Markets
Vultures of the Sandwich Isles
David C. Farmer vs Harmon
Yakuza Doodle Dandies
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Last update April 28, 2008, by The Catbird