Showdown at Time Warner
It was late 2003, and Richard D. Parsons, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner (TWX ), had been at loggerheads with the Securities & Exchange Commission for more than 18 months. The issue: whether the company properly booked a slew of advertising deals negotiated by America Online before it merged with Time Warner. Parsons had already reduced AOL's reported ad revenues by $190 million over eight quarters. But he drew the line at SEC demands that he restate even more by marking down an unusual $400 million advertising contract AOL had struck with German media giant Bertelsmann in 2001.
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