AOL Time Warner


is preparing to take a massive writedown of at least $10 billion later this month in order to reflect deterioration in the value of its struggling America Online unit, according to a report in the

Washington Post


The media titan, which reportedly plans to disclose the multibillion-dollar charge on Jan. 29 with its year-end financial results, doesn't expect the bad news to adversely affect its liquidity or debt obligations, the newspaper said. The move would mark the second time in a year that the company has been forced to reduce the value of its Internet business since the merger of AOL and Time Warner in 2001. In the first quarter of 2002, the company recorded a $54 billion writedown.

The news sent shares down 30 cents, or 2.2%, to $13.58 in premarket trading on Instinet.