What Happened to AOL Time Warner?

Posted June 15, 2018 6:45 p.m. EDT

Thursday marked the end of Time.

AT&T said Thursday that it had closed its $84.5 billion acquisition of Time Warner. The announcement marked the completion of a 17-year unwinding of the media behemoth. Today, none of the sprawling businesses that made up AOL Time Warner stands as a separate publicly traded company.

From 1989 to 2001, Time Inc. took part in a series of megamergers that made it the largest media company in the world. The deal-making culminated in Time Warner’s $165 billion combination with America Online.

But by the start of 2016, Time Warner and Time Inc. were all that was left. Now both have been acquired. Here’s a brief timeline of some of biggest deals that built Time’s media empire and the asset sales that unwound it.

1989: Time Inc. and Warner Communications agree to merge, creating the largest media and entertainment conglomerate in the world.

1995: Time Warner agrees to buy Turner Broadcasting System for $9.6 billion, bringing together brands such as CNN, TBS, HBO, Time, Sports Illustrated and Warner Bros.

2000: America Online agrees to purchase Time Warner for $165 billion in what would be the biggest merger in history. The company is renamed AOL Time Warner.

2003: Time Warner sells its Warner Music division for about $2.6 billion.

2009: The company spins off Time Warner Cable.

2009: Time Warner spins off AOL, unwinding one of the most ill-fated marriages in the history of the media and technology business.

2014: Time Warner splits its Time Inc. magazine division into a separate public company.

2015: Verizon Communications announces a $4.4 billion deal for AOL.

2015: Charter Communications agrees to acquire Time Warner Cable for $64.6 billion.

October 2016: AT&T agrees to buy Time Warner for about $85.4 billion.

November 2017: The Meredith Corp. agrees to purchase Time Inc. in an all-cash transaction valued at nearly $2 billion.

June 2018: AT&T closes its acquisition of Time Warner.