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Case Wants Time Warner Unpacked

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-12-12

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Ex-AOL honcho Steve Case thinks it's time AOL and Time Warner went their separate ways, preferably by breaking the company into four divisions.

Somewhere, ex-Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin must be putting his fist through a wall, after the latest opinions from Case gained attention in the Washington Post Saturday and today. Case believes Time Warner should be broken up into Time Warner Entertainment, Time Warner Cable, Time magazine, and AOL.

This comes two months after Case left Time Warner's board, two years after he vacated the chairman's office, four years after AOL took over Time Warner in a move that started with high hopes and ended amid a slew of lawsuits, accusations of accounting irregularities, and a dramatic stock price plunge.

Case joins powerful financier Carl Icahn in making separate calls for changes at Time Warner, changes which current CEO Richard Parsons and the Time Warner board have yet to embrace. They disagree with Case that his suggestions would do anything to improve the share price of the company.

Case blamed a lack of integration for the merged company's woes. Time Warner's separate divisions displayed the same problems that Sony has now: a lack of collaboration and focus.

He cited "internal pressures" that kept AOL from rolling out Internet telephony quickly. Now, AOL has its revamped TotalTalk service and a new version of its instant messaging software available that offers several options besides text for IM.

One topic Case wasn't ready to discuss in-depth was the failure of the merger of the two companies. "I have my own views, but now is not the time for that debate," Case wrote. "Unfortunately, that "one company" strategy never got off the ground."

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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