RealTime IT News

AOL Mum on Possible UK Unit Sale

AOL refused to comment on reports it is seeking a buyer for its UK ISP unit.

According to The Guardian, AOL plans exit Europe in the face of free Internet service.

AOL spokesperson Nicholas Graham also refused comment on reports the ISP has hired Citigroup to seek out buyers for its French and German ISP business.

The ISP has 2.2 million customers in the UK. However, competition has arisen, as a variety of companies offer free Internet service.

The reports, if true, are consistent with AOL's intention to shed the expensive ISP business, according to one analyst.

"AOL has for a while been seeking to transform itself from an access business into a content business, Gartner's Lydia Leong told internetnews.com.

As a sign of the shifted emphasis away from purely an ISP, AOL has racked up a number of content deals. Earlier this year, AOL unveiled In2TV, a joint offering with parent company Time Warner to stream classic television shows over the Internet.

Last year, Google paid $1 billion for a 5 percent stake in AOL.