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September 15, 2005 Thursday 8:44 AM EST

From Lexis Nexis

Time Warner Inc. is talking with Microsoft Corp. about selling part of Virginia-based America Online to the big software maker.

If a deal is cut, Time Warner reportedly would combine it with Microsoft's MSN unit, the New York Post said Thursday.

Under a proposal being discussed, Microsoft would pay cash to Time Warner for the AOL stake, leaving the companies roughly equal partners in the Internet portal.

The Microsoft talks come as corporate raider Carl Icahn has been amassing a stake in Time Warner and pushing for seats on the board of directors.

Since 2003, AOL has lost about 4 million subscribers, as users fled dial-up service for broadband or DSL.