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Largest Loss in U.S. History
-- January 29, 2003

Time Warner merged with America Online for $106.2 billion two years ago. Was it worth it?

In 2002, the company wrote down nearly $100 billion in goodwill -- including $45.5 billion in the fourth quarter and $54 billion in the first quarter -- all but admitting that the purchase was more show than substance. In fact, Time Warner's acquisition of America Online may eventually sink the entire company.

Its other mergers and acquisitions are worth a fraction of what it paid. Now, it is feverishly dumping all "non-core" assets, such as the sale of its stake in Hughes Electronics.

Plus, its investments have hit the skids, and its debt has risen to unwieldy levels. The company is targeting a reduction in long-term debts to $20 billion by 2004. But that level is STILL too high for a company that just lost $100 billion last year and expects revenues to be "essentially flat" next year. So, don't expect this to be the last record loss for AOL Time Warner.

related article: AOL TW Posts Loss of Nearly $100 Billion