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Time Warner's AOL Withdraws TradeDoubler Bid

AOL Wednesday withdrew an estimated $900 million cash offer for Swedish online marketer
TradeDoubler after failing to gain the approval of 90% of shareholders.

The acceptance deadline, extended once, expired on March 14. As a condition of the offer, the online unit of Time Warner sought approval from 90% of TradeDoubler shareholders.

AOL reached a deal to buy the Swedish company in January in a bid to expand its online advertising operation in Europe.

Time Warner restructured the online division to focus on boosting online ad revenue by offering most of its services for free.

But shareholders representing about 20% of TradeDoubler shares opposed the deal, demanding a higher price than the offer of 215 crowns per share.

Analysts earlier said shareholders were likely to demand 220 to 230 crowns per share.

"We made a full and fair offer, and we always said we didn't plan to raise it," an AOL spokesman said. "Our Advertising.com business in Europe is growing rapidly, and this will not affect our plans to aggressively expand it."

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