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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.
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! ;)
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.