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Google prepares to jettison AOL stake

Time Warner has revealed that Googlewants to rid itself of its loss-inducing stake in AOL just over a week since reporting its firstever quarterly profit decline.

The declining value of AOL stock contributed to Google's declaration ofa net profit of $382m for the last quarter of 2008, despite a 3% increase in revenue from the previous quarter to $5.7bn.

Google effectively wrote off $726m of its investment in AOL in the fourth quarter, but Googlechief executive Eric Schmidt said at the time thatthe investment in AOL continued to "make sense".

Google has since invoked an escape clause and asked Time Warner to either buy back its stake or spin AOL off as a public company, ending the relationship two years ahead of schedule.

Time Warner was the first to reveal Google's intentions to bail out of the relationship, but has not yet indicated what it intends to do.

Google has not yet commented on the disclosure.


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