EarthLink Apparently Not Going to Buy AOL

Those who expected EarthLink Inc. (ELNK) to consolidate the dial-up biz with an AOL buy will have to keep waiting.

Dial-up remains shockingly profitable, as evidenced by EarthLink’s latest earnings report ($27.3 million in fourth-quarter net income, compared to losses of $9.5 million a year earlier, thank you very much) and the company sure looked poised to snap up rival AOL.

But those plans apparently are on hold. EarthLink won’t match analysts’ expectations for coming quarters; as such, it’s decided to offer unlimited dial-up service for $7.95 per month. That makes EarthLink’s Internet access cheaper than NetZero’s much-touted $9.95 monthly subscription fee.

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