Report: Case, indignant, says he'll spin off AOL

AOL Time Warner (AOLTW) Chairman Steve Case is reportedly fed up with colleagues and investors likening America Online (AOL) to the albatross around AOLTW's neck and has made remarks indicating he may seek to reclaim control of the Internet unit through some sort of spin-off, a report revealed Tuesday.

The report, published in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal, is apparently based on remarks Case recently made to people close to him as the heat has been turned up underneath AOL. The struggling Internet unit of media conglomerate AOLTW has been blamed for the company's tumbling stock price and shaken investor faith. What's more, government probes into AOL's accounting have led the company to undergo an internal inquiry into the Internet unit, which has turned up several questionable transactions.

Upon reporting its third-quarter results last week, AOLTW announced that it would be restating almost two years of earnings due to the accounting problems within AOL.

With so much fire aimed at the teetering Internet division, Case, who headed AOL before it merged with Time Warner last year, has reportedly taken offense.

The newspaper reported that Case has remarked that AOL could be more successful free of the critical gaze of AOLTW.

Amid speculation of a spin-off, shares of AOLTW (AOL) traded down .14 percent to US$14.68 a share in early trading Tuesday.

No one from the New York company was immediately available to comment on the report.

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