October 14, 2005 2:27 PM PDT

Yahoo taking on Google, Microsoft for AOL?

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Yahoo reportedly has left the sidelines and entered the struggle with rivals Google and Microsoft for a piece of America Online.

Yahoo is in talks with AOL, according to an article on TheStreet.com, which cited unidentified sources. The prize: AOL's millions of search and portal users and the related $380 million in ad revenue that now goes Google's way.

Representatives of Yahoo and of AOL, a unit of Time Warner, declined to comment on the report. The word comes on the heels of rumors that first Microsoft, then a Google-Comcast partnership, were in discussions with AOL.

If Yahoo is in the running, the stakes could get high.

"When you've got multiple players going after a property, like anything, you get increased competition and people tend to bid higher," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

Gary Stein, an analyst at JupiterResearch, agreed.

"It does certainly seem like everyone is interested in AOL these days, particularly because of its (large volume of) traffic," said Stein. "There is no clear indication that AOL is even looking to sell, but now, all of a sudden, they are the most popular girl at the dance."

As far as Yahoo joining in, Stein speculated that "there is no clear reason for it, other than maybe the fact that after a couple of people become interested in this property, others look at it and say, 'I certainly don't want to see it go to a competitor.'"

AOL recently had a makeover and a huge shift in its business model when it opened up its formerly walled-off content to the Internet at large and launched a new AOL.com portal. The move was designed to help grab some of the free-flowing online ad dollars going toward Google and other search rivals.

"Part of the reason they relaunched was to create value around the property," Enderle said. "It's been no secret that Time Warner has wanted to dump this thing since they took control over" it.

In a shocking move that illustrated the exuberance of the era, AOL merged with Time Warner in a staggering stock transaction worth about $160 billion.

For Yahoo, Google and Microsoft, a bid for AOL is a defensive move against the others, Enderle said.

"Microsoft probably has the strongest synergy with AOL, because MSN was designed (based) on the AOL model," he said. "Of the three, Yahoo needs (AOL) the least."

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Yahoo: The new Microsoft......
They're buying out all this s***, and it's only a matter of time before the Yahoo empire will begin to crumble!
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yahoo: The new Microsoft......
They're buying out all this s***, and it's only a matter of time before the Yahoo empire will begin to crumble!
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yahoo wants to buy AOL? Why?
Yahoo has that SBC deal offering Yahoo/SBC services. Buying AOL is like buying some crack house in a slum somewhere and then trying to connect it up with your townhouse in the county. It does not make sense.

The only way it would make sense is if Yahoo got rid of that crappy AOL software and forced all AOL customers into using the SBC/Yahoo software at the lower dial-up and DSL prices that SBC/Yahoo offers.

I mean the only thing that AOL has that is worth any value is that large customer base they got by spamming everyone and mailing out like 12 demo CDs to every single house in the United States as junk mail. Everything else, like media files, are owned by Time/Warner and won't be part of the AOL buyout. So *** already?

I mean I have friends who use AOL software, it is supposed to fix their PC, and remove any viruses, and protect them from hackers and all, and I constantly have to fix their AOL PC and remove viruses (or reformat if they reach that 300+ virus infection rate), change all their passwords because hackers used viruses to steal their passwords, and try to teach them how to avoid web sites that use pop-up ads that the stupid AOL popup blocker won't stop that install viruses on their system anyway because it is based on Internet Explorer and even a simple GIF file can be used as an exploit to run malware code.

I mean please, do me a favor and take all of that useless AOL software and take it out back and shoot it after a buyout!
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yahoo wants to buy AOL? Why?
Yahoo has that SBC deal offering Yahoo/SBC services. Buying AOL is like buying some crack house in a slum somewhere and then trying to connect it up with your townhouse in the county. It does not make sense.

The only way it would make sense is if Yahoo got rid of that crappy AOL software and forced all AOL customers into using the SBC/Yahoo software at the lower dial-up and DSL prices that SBC/Yahoo offers.

I mean the only thing that AOL has that is worth any value is that large customer base they got by spamming everyone and mailing out like 12 demo CDs to every single house in the United States as junk mail. Everything else, like media files, are owned by Time/Warner and won't be part of the AOL buyout. So *** already?

I mean I have friends who use AOL software, it is supposed to fix their PC, and remove any viruses, and protect them from hackers and all, and I constantly have to fix their AOL PC and remove viruses (or reformat if they reach that 300+ virus infection rate), change all their passwords because hackers used viruses to steal their passwords, and try to teach them how to avoid web sites that use pop-up ads that the stupid AOL popup blocker won't stop that install viruses on their system anyway because it is based on Internet Explorer and even a simple GIF file can be used as an exploit to run malware code.

I mean please, do me a favor and take all of that useless AOL software and take it out back and shoot it after a buyout!
Posted by Orion Blastar (590 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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