Germany’s Springer buying stake in AOL

BERLIN – German media giant Bertelsmann AG announced on Thursday that Axel Springer Verlag, one of Europe’s largest publishing houses, will buy a 10% share in AOL Germany.

Within a year of its launch, AOL Europe, a joint venture of America Online Inc. and Bertelsmann, has logged more than 300,000 subscribers: 200,000 in Germany, nearly 100,000 in Great Britain and 25,000 in France. New AOL companies were formed in Austria and Switzerland at the end of November. Bertelsmann said it expects AOL to become the largest European-wide online service by mid-1997.

The Springer deal will give AOL Germany access to the publisher’s 40 German-language newspapers and magazines, including the most widely read German daily, Bild. Magazines such as Auto Bild, Sport Bild and Computer Bild will be available online over AOL.

No financial details of the agreement were released.

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