Time Warner Agrees $300m Settlement With SEC

23 March 2005

Global media giant Time Warner has agreed with US financial watchdog the Securities and Exchange Commission to close the book on an investigation into its dubious methods of accounting for online ad revenues and subscriber numbers.

The company will pay $300 million (€227m, £158m) in settlement of charges that its America Online internet arm misstated advertising revenues during its merger negotiations with Time Warner in 2000.

As part of the SEC deal the company has agreed to restate financial results for 2000, 2001 and 2002; also to the appointment of an independent examiner to review several previous transactions. But TW has neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing.

Time Warner ceo Richard Parsons says: "We're pleased to have resolved the SEC's investigation of the company."

The settlement will leave the way clear for the company's joint pursuit with Comcast of troubled cable TV firm Adelphia Communications [WAMN: 28-Feb-05].

Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff