AOL Time Warner is looking to acquire cable television companies in the British and French cable markets, according to the company’s chairman, Steve Case.
In an interview given to French business paper Les Echos, Case said: In prohibiting the purchase of the cable activities of Deutsche Telekom by Liberty Media, the [German] regulatory authorities have closed the market. Since that market is for the moment neither open, nor competitive, we are looking rather at the options in Great Britain, in France and in other countries.
Europe’s struggling cable operators represent an easy opportunity for AOL to develop its strategy with two of the major players, NTL in the UK and Amsterdam, Netherlands-based United Pan-Europe Communications (UPC), both of which are involved in major restructuring operations that are likely to mean debt-for-equity swaps.
AOL has also demonstrated its anxiety to inject new urgency into broadband by announcing the head of its broadband unit. Audrey Weil, will leave in May. She will be replaced by Lisa Hook, who is currently head of the company’s AOL Anywhere operation. Audrey Weil is taking a break. She’s coming back at the end of the summer and will take on new responsibilities, said a company official.