AOL legal settlement gets judge's nod

A US judge had approved a $2.65-billion class-action settlement of claims that advertising revenue was counted in a fraudulent manner prior to the merger of AOL and Time Warner, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the settlement, which US District Judge Shirley Wohl Kram signed, stemmed from lawsuits brought by shareholders who complained that AOL improperly accounted for dozens of advertising transactions, inflating revenue for 15 quarters between 1998 and 2002.

AOL and Time Warner announced that they were merging in early 2000. AOL's steadily declining dial-up subscriber base became a drain on Time Warner, though the Internet provider had risen in stature with the recent boom in online advertising, the report said.

Kram said the settlement had received overwhelming support by nearly all of the estimated 600,000 claimants, according to the report.

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