A $4.1 billion (€4.7bn; £2.9bn) drop in the value of its holdings pushed Liberty Media, the investment vehicle of US cable entrepreneur John Malone, $6.2bn into the red last year, down from profits of $1.49bn in 2000.

A massive $2.05bn of the write-off came from one holding alone: Liberty’s 4% stake in AOL Time Warner; with a further $915 million shaved from its shares in NewsCorp.

Losses at Liberty – spun off from AT&T last summer – come in spite of a 35% jump in revenues to $2.06bn.

The company expects to take a $1.5bn–$2bn charge this year to reflect new accounting standards relating to goodwill.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff