AOL said Thursday it expects to drop as many as 5,000 employees, or a quarter of its global work force, within six months as the company restructures its business to draw more online advertising dollars.
The announcement came a day after the Time Warner Inc. unit said it would no longer charge high-speed Internet customers for e-mail and other services.
An unknown number of European employees will still have jobs but with a different company as AOL looks to shed its Internet access businesses in France, Germany and the United Kingdom. AOL currently has 3,000 access employees in Europe.
But massive layoffs around the world are expected as AOL stops actively marketing its dial-up services in the United States and reduces its need for customer-support centers.