America Online

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AOL LLC (formerly America Online, Inc) is an American online service provider, bulletin board system, and media company operated by Time Warner. Based in Dulles, Virginia, with regional branches around the world, the former "goliath among Internet service providers" once had more than 30 million subscribers on several continents.

In 2000 AOL and Time Warner announced plans to merge, a deal approved by the FTC on January 11, 2001. As a result of this deal, AOL's stock decreased sharply from a total value of about $226 billion to about $20 billion.

AOL's controversy involving many users who can't end their AOL accounts is part of the reason for its tainted customer service reputation. As of July 2006, AOL had fewer than 19 million subscribers in the United States in 2006, when PC World declared it the worst tech product of all time.

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.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "AOL"

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