The end of an era. Time Warner will spin off AOL into a separate Internet company run by former Google advertising executive Tim Armstrong, the Associated Press reports. Later this year, Time Warner will buy Google's 5 percent stake and reshape AOL into a publicly traded company. Time Warner and AOL merged eight years ago in an ill-fated $147 billion deal during the height of the dot-com bubble. In 2002 and 2003, the AP writes, "Time Warner absorbed nearly $100 billion in charges to account for the rapidly diminishing value of the combined company." In a statement, Time Warner Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes said that the deal would give AOL "a better opportunity to achieve its full potential as a leading independent Internet Company."
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