Business & Finance

AOL Time Warner made an offer for AT&T's cable TV unit, the largest in the US, and Cox Communications may be considering a bid, The Wall Street Journal reported. Exact terms of the offers were not disclosed, but the Journal reported AOL proposed buying a 40 percent stake in the unit. Discussions between AT&T and AOL began in July after the former rejected a $44.5 billion stock takeover bid by Comcast Corp. AT&T's board expects to receive still more bids before it meets later this month to decide which are most promising, the Journal said. An AOL-AT&T Broadband combination would give AT&T access to AOL's programming, broadcasting, and transmission facilities. AOL would gain access to AT&T's Internet pipeline. But such a deal likely would face heavy regulator scrutiny.

Dominion Resources Inc. will pay $1.8 billion in cash and stock for Louis Dreyfus Natural Gas in the latest merger in the rapidly consolidating energy industry, The Wall Street Journal reported. The deal also includes the assumption of $500 million of Dreyfus debt. Dominion is based in Richmond, Va.; Dreyfus in Oklahoma City.

What remains of Media Most, the TV, newspaper, and magazine conglomerate headed by exiled Russian tycoon Vladimir Gusinsky, will be liquidated, its stockholders decided. In a controversial and internationally criticized move last April, Gazprom, a state-owned utility and Media Most's largest shareholder, orchestrated the takeover of its NTV operation, closed its Segodnya daily newspaper, and fired the staff of its liberal magazine - all critics of President Vladimir Putin. On May 29, a Moscow court ordered Media Most sold off for failure to pay debts.

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