With regional branches around the world, the former American goliath among Internet service providers once had more than 30 million subscribers on several continents. It
ranked fourth (behind the Web itself, e-mail, and graphic user interfaces) in a 2007 USA TODAY retrospective on the 25 events that shaped the first 25 years of the Internet and was named to the ".com 25" by a panel of Silicon Valley influencers on the occasion of the same anniversary.
In January 2000, AOL and Time Warner announced plans to merge. The terms of the deal called for AOL shareholders to own 55% of the new, combined company. The deal closed on January 11, 2001 after receiving regulatory approval from the FTC, the FCC, and the EU's COMP.
AOL Time Warner, Inc., as the company was then called, was led by executives from AOL, SBI, and Time Warner. Gerald Levin, who had served as CEO of Time Warner, was CEO of the new company. Steve Case served as Chairman, J. Michael Kelly (from AOL) was the Chief Financial Officer, Robert W. Pittman (from AOL) and Dick Parsons (from Time Warner) served as Co-Chief Operating Officers. The total value of AOL stock subsequently went from $226 billion to about $20 billion. Similarly, its customer base decreased to 10.1 million subscribers as of November 2007, just narrowly ahead of Comcast and AT&T Yahoo!. As of June 2010, AOL's subscriber base dropped to 4.4 million.
The second logo for AOL, used from 2006–2009
News reports in late 2005 identified companies such as Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Google as candidates for turning AOL into a joint venture; those plans were apparently abandoned when it was revealed on December 20, 2005 that Google would purchase a 5% share of AOL for $1 billion.
AOL was rated both one of the best and worst Internet suppliers in the UK, according to a poll by BBC Watchdog.
On March 31, 1997, the short-lived eWorld was purchased by AOL. The ISP side of AOL UK was bought by The Carphone Warehouse in October 2006 to take advantage of their 100,000 LLU customers which made The Carphone Warehouse the biggest LLU provider in the UK.
On May 28, 2009, Time Warner announced that it would spin AOL off as an independent company once Google's shares ceased at the end of the fiscal year, and AOL's page and logo changed afterward.
AOL ceased to be a part of Time Warner on December 9, 2009. The company declared an IPO on that day, under the stock symbol NYSE:AOL