If reeling media giant AOL Time Warner believed that things could only get better, it reckoned without Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzales.

Judge Gonzales on Tuesday greenlighted a request by insolvent telecoms giant WorldCom to cancel the outstanding term of a four-year $324 million (€328.36m; £207.87m) advertising contract with AOL TW.

The judge ruled that the $80.25m a quarter contract was valid until this week and did not terminate in mid-September when WorldCom filed its application for bankruptcy, declaring around $40 billion in debt

In July AOL TW was listed among WorldCom's unsecured creditors., although the amount owed to AOL TW was not disclosed. Following news of the judge’s decision, AOL shares fell 4.7% on Tuesday.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff