Internet group AOL is leaving Germany, closing offices in Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich. About 140 employees will lose their jobs.

The closures were confirmed on Tuesday (Jan. 12) by AOL spokesman Thomas Knorpp in Hamburg. No comment could be obtained on when the closure will become effective, because AOL has to reach an agreement with its works council about a redundancy scheme first.

There are also reports that AOL is reviewing all operations in 11 countries in Europe and that there will be further closures in Sweden, Spain and France.

In 2006 AOL Germany followed the global strategy of the company and sold the Internet-access business to Hansenet in Hamburg in order to concentrate on the Internet portal and advertising.

AOL is undergoing a major global restructuring, which will leave a total of 4,4000 employees according to AFP - down from 19,000 in 2006.