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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Deal Time for AOL

According to The New York Times TimeWarner is now more interested in partnering with Google or MSN than selling off a piece of the business. This is smart because there would be too many control issues about direction (in Google's case), and too much competition (in MSN's case).

Tightening the relationship with Google is smarter since AOL is already using AdSense. Also, Google's strength is in searching content and wrapping ads around it, and AOL has considerable amounts of unique content to exploit.

AOL finally abandoned the sinking ship of subscriptions from dial-up customers to embrace ad-supported content, so continuing on with Google is a no-brainer. Maximizing AOL in Google's search results (instead of MSN) would be a boon to both companies.

MSN's content properties are too much in competition with AOL for that to work, so don't hold your breath.

Actually the best deal for AOL would probably be Comcast to rejoin the negotiations. Comcast is a natural upgrade path for newbie AOLers, and AOL's content would help Comcast immeasurably in becoming an online publishing entity. But the best deals don't always happen.

By John Gartner at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

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