AOL Time Warner unit Time Inc is reportedly closing in on a deal with Imagine Media, the US division of British-headquartered media group Future Network, to purchase the latter’s new-economy magazine Business 2.0.

Time is, it is thought, planning to combine the magazine with its own ailing e-business title eCompany Now, in an attempt to bolster circulation. “I think it will take a play like this to keep [eCompany Now] afloat,” commented one AOL Time Warner executive. “The whole sector is just evaporating.”

The market for e-business magazines has been shrinking in tandem with the downturn in the technology sector as a whole. Business 2.0, which generated $20 million of profit last year, is expected to be only marginally in the black in 2001. In February alone, the title saw ad pages drop 26.5%.

Estimates of the purchase price vary between $30m and $75m.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline