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Could Google bid for AOL?

 11:46 am on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

With Microsoft in talks with AOL, [webmasterworld.com] speculation includes Google protecting its interest at AOL.



 10:30 pm on Sep 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google could enjoy bidding for AOL just to drive the price up and make it less profitable for Microsoft.


 2:30 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

It's a shame there can't be more than a handful of companies that run the 'net. Ebay, Google, MSN, Yahoo... and everybody else is just a property to be bought up by one of the above.


 3:41 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would prefer to see AOL stay AOL, then maybe IAC to buy it, GOOG next, and no matter what, I think MSFT has the potential to be much more evil than Google ever will be.

Whoever buys it might end up with ODP too. All of a sudden every corner of the web becomes one big shopping mall...controlled by MSFT? That's a really scary thought.


 4:17 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

1. I think from a financial standpoint they have a higher multiple and can pay far more than MSFT. It is instantly accretive to the bottom line as well.

2. From a strategic standpoint, a strong content portal with Google's strengths mitigating AOL's weaknesses, they should be able to more effectively monetize it.

3. Without looking at AOL's valuation or doing any research, it should be a small amount to pay relative to GOOG's overall market cap.

Just my two cents and probably worth about as much! ;)



 9:05 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

AOL has lost lots of marketshare but its still the top dog of dialup internationally. I think the best thing would be for Time Warner to keep AOL and not just give it away to a competitor.

The real question is why has AOL not came out with their own search away from Google, MSN, or Yahoo yet? AOL should have bought a smaller search engine and ad network and profited 100% from their portal and tons of online content.


 9:10 am on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

if you mean ODP as DMOZ then I wonder why AOL has not made any money off of this directory that is controlled by people that use it to their advantages... I bet the AOL stockholders would not be to happy with the DMOZ directory sitting there not making any money from advertsing. AOL could turn it into something like the yahoo directory that sales top 4 sponsor links or something.


 5:02 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

I think it was the CEO of TW who was on the Charlie Rose show last night. Spent some time explaining why AOL was not for sale.

Anyone else see the program?


 5:31 pm on Sep 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

AOL could turn it into something like the yahoo directory that sales top 4 sponsor links or something.

DMOZ already has an awful credibility problem. Monetizing it would officially kill it off - like when LookSmart shot themselves in the head in 2002. That bullet made an awful mess to clean up.


 5:24 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I vote or MSN.

I'd rather have 3 big players in search with somewhat even market share. I'm sure it's only a matter of time for the smaller players (Ask Jeeves et al) to be acquired. I'm surprised they haven't been purchased already.

MSN's new PPC will supposedly share demographic data from Hotmail. Imagine having all of that AOL demographic data?!?!?

Isn't it funny that a few years ago, it seemed like the whole search world was consolidating to just Google... and now, an MSN deal would create 3 fairly level players?

The more competition the better.


 5:45 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

The moral of the story is that when one company whose primary business has no long term value (AOL) buys another company that's been in a downward spiral for years (TW), it's not time to speculate about world domination. I'm not sure anything other than bits and pieces of AOL and TW can be saved, even if they do manage to make a profit on their current businesses in the short term.


 11:22 am on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi Guys,

Can someone give me the stock symbol for AOL?



 6:16 pm on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

stock symbol: TWX

Google's shares are at all-time high. When AOL was on peak before .com crash (and Yahoo! also), they made a brilliant move of buying actual REAL company with REAL profits (Time Warner). Something that Yahoos didn't.

AOL may not be ideal match to Google, but we have to wait and see - either loose $382 million yearly revenue, or spend $5 billion in stock for AOL (Microsoft wants an equal stake in it with TimeWarner, and AOL is valued at or below $10 billion).


 7:55 pm on Sep 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

I personally would never rebrand it though, keep Google google and AOL aol. Please, no "powered by Google" button on aol.com.

I agree - their search page of course should be all google.

Tons of people use aol for some reasons already mentioned - they want to keep their email address - and they like to be able to connect when on the road.

I HATE aol as a PROGRAM, but still use it sometimes. It is bloated and crappy, but some PEOPLE LOVE it. I know people with cable modems AND aol. I tell them they don't need aol - and they WANT it - and not for the email, aim, or remote dialing options.

Some people seem to think it is easier.

Anyway - both companies are good companies. They would be even better together. We are talking REAL leverage here - not just throwing CNN feeds onto AOL as they tried to argue for AOLTimeWarner.

And if their WiFi thing takes off - even better.

And you know how Google can't really geotarget AOL customers with ads as they appear to live in Virginia.


Google buying AOL makes sense for the same reason Yahoo did with overture (although a little different).


 8:18 am on Sep 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

ICQ and AIM.

I don't think anti-trust would let Microsoft buy AOL.


 7:51 pm on Sep 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

AOL = VERY slow growth, if any, and low profit margins. Goog is the opposite and needs to stay that way.


 2:55 am on Sep 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Judging from this artilce in the nytimes:
AOL is doing just fine they had earnings of $368 million last quarter which was up from $276 million last year. That doesn't sound like declining earnings to me.

The article makes it clear that Time Warner probably has no intention of parting with its AOL unit but instead is intent on making the switch from an ISP to a portal who makes money off advertising.

So considering they are focusing on advertising revenues, it's a no brainer that they make some noise about partnering with Microsoft to scare google into giving them a significantly bigger portion of the ad revenues. Just plain and simple good business.


 8:14 am on Oct 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Google, Comcast eye AOL stake: WSJ


"Under one idea, Google and Comcast would jointly own half of the AOL Web businesses..."

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