New York Time Inc. publications now available for free on the Internet may soon be available only to subscribers of its sister company America Online, a source familiar with the matter said Monday.
The two units of AOL Time Warner are considering a deal that would bring them closer together while offering a potentially significant source of new subscribers to the struggling Internet division.
Currently, most of Time Inc.'s magazines can be read for free online.
The proposal, which was reported in Monday's editions of The Wall Street Journal, is expected to be discussed with analysts next week by America Online's new chief executive, Jon Miller.
America Online currently has 35 million subscribers, but analysts have questioned its long-term prospects because of concerns that subscription and advertising growth are slowing. They are particularly concerned about the company's Internet access service, which the company has touted as key to its future, but is still pricier than much of the competition.