Time Warner Sets Aside a Problem?

By Tom Lowry and Paula Dwyer

NO GREAT STRAIN? Time Warner said it set aside $500 million because it was its best estimate of what would be needed to resolve both the SEC probe and a separate investigation into AOL's accounting by the Justice Dept. The investigations, many financial analysts believe, have kept the stock depressed since 2002. They have also restricted the outfit's ability to issue new shares, which might be used for acquisitions. Time Warner shares closed at $16.61 on Nov. 3, up 2% from the previous day.

The company didn't rule out that part of the $500 million reserve could be used to help settle a consolidated private shar

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