Carphone Warehouse buys AOL's UK business for $688m

Carphone Warehouse Group , a British mobile phone retailer, will buy Time Warner's British AOL business for 370 million pounds ($688 million) in cash, according to an Associated Press report.


The report said London-based company, which also operates the mobile Internet portal MViva, will acquire AOL's 2 million customers in the UK to become the third-largest provider of broadband services in the country.


It will also take over the supporting management and infrastructure. AOL will provide co-branded portal, content and other audience services, the Associated Press report said.


For AOL, the sale is part of the Virginia-based company's efforts to shed its access subscription business as it focuses on boosting advertising revenue from its free Web sites, the report said.


'This agreement completes the restructuring of our AOL Europe businesses,' Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons was quoted by the report as saying.


Last month, French telecommunications network operator Neuf Cegetel said it was buying AOL's French Internet access business for about $365 million in cash.


Time Warner also reached an all-cash deal to sell AOL Germany's Internet access business to Telecom Italia SpA for about $870 million.


Carphone Warehouse, which has been building up its presence in the UK residential telecom market, will pay 250 million pounds ($465.5 million) on completion of the deal and the balance in three installments over the following 18 months, the company said in a statement.