BERLIN — A spokesperson for the German media heavyweight Bertelsmann AG denied reports in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that it plans to buy U.S. publisher McGraw-Hill Inc.
No comment was given to a story in the Wall Street Journal that Bertelsmann will add coin to the billion-dollar stock offer from America Online, the world’s largest online service, to buy rival CompuServe. Bertelsmann holds a 5% stake in AOL.
In the past, there have been several rumors concerning the parties interested in CompuServe. H&R Block Inc., which owns 80% of CompuServe, has reportedly so far rejected AOL’s offer.
In the event of a takeover, AOL would become the largest online service in Europe, where it currently has 600,000 subscribers, behind CompuServe with 900,000 and Europe’s leading online provider, Deutsche Telekom, which has 1.4 million T-Online customers.