Thursday, September 15, 2005

Microsoft to buy 50% of AOL

According to the New York Post, citing two unnamed sources close to the talks, Microsoft is in 'advanced negotiations’ with Time Warner, the parent company of AOL to purchase an equal share of the company.

This would probably be Microsoft's largest purchase to date, as analysts speculate the valuation of AOL as being in the $10b to $20b USD range.

In the battle for eyeballs, it would seem to be a very good fit, as the number of MSN (+AOL) members would more than double immediately.

However, IMO, this is fraught with potential problems, the two foremost being

1) The antitrust department of the DOJ, and of course, the morons at the EU Office of Competition. Would it be only the North American unit?

2) The baggage associated with AOL. A-O-Hell, anyone?

The story can be found here, free registration required.