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SCOTT JAGOW: It’s fair to say the Time Warner-AOL merger six years ago was one of the worst deals in corporate history. Investors got royally. . . you know what. A lot of them sued. Yesterday, Time Warner agreed to pay $144 million to settle one of the last suits. Pat Loeb reports.
PAT LOEB: Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann says the Time Warner settlement sends a message to Wall Street and corporate America:
MARC DANN: We will not tolerate fraud stock manipulation or deceit. If you abuse the public trust and steal from taxpayers or Ohio pension holders, you will pay the price.
Ohio pension and workmen’s comp funds were among dozens of investors that sued Time Warner after the 2001 merger. They claimed AOL inflated its stock with false revenue reports.
After the merger, the stock price plummeted from $58 a share to $8.
Time Warner has paid about $3.5 billion so far to settle the suits. Spokesman Keith Cocozza:
KEITH COCOZZA: These events occurred some 6 to 7 years ago and are something that the company has been focused on putting behind it.
Cocozza says the company hasn’t admitted any wrongdoing.
I’m Pat Loeb for Marketplace.