Representatives for the state of Ohio said Wednesday that it has reached a $144 million settlement with Time Warner Inc. on behalf of six state funds that claimed they were defrauded after the AOL-TW merger. They claimed they lost nearly $400 million in the wake of the deal that led to a decline in the merged company's stock price. TW does not admit liability or wrongdoing under the settlement. … Time Warner Cable Inc. also said Wednesday at the annual Bear Sterns media investor conference in Palm Beach, Fla., that it wants to sign up at least 200,000 telephony subscribers this year in cable systems it acquired as part of the Adelphia Communications deal, CFO John Martin said. He said getting out the phone product has boosted uptake of other services in TWC legacy systems. Martin added that TWC wants to have launched phone service in all acquired systems by year's end.
COLOGNE, Germany — Last year started off with a major setback for German media giant Axel Springer, with local authorities blocking its planned takeover of broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1. But as figures released Wednesday showed, the company bounced back to book another record profit. Springer's profit in 2006 jumped 26.1% to €290.8 million ($381 million) despite a slight 0.7% drop in revenue to €2.4 billion ($3.1 billion). Springer CEO Mathias Doepfner said the "noticeable disappointment" of losing ProSieben was compensated for by international expansion, in particular the acquisition of 25% of Turkish broadcaster Dogan TV and 25.1% of Poland's Polsat. Doepfner said Springer has just closed a deal to acquire majority stakes in online stock news sites wallstreet-online.de and fondsdiscount.de. He also said Springer was launching TV Guide in Germany.