Yahoo! in Talks With AOL
Yahoo’s new board members have decided that they actually want to get warm and fuzzy with AOL.
According to the Financial Times, Yahoo will begin talks with Ted Turner’s multi-media kingdom (Time Warner) to discuss the future of its AOL division. Earlier this year, the two companies began negotiations to merge both internet businesses. However, those talks eventually stalled.
It’s no secret that Yahoo has been negotiating with everyone under the sun, searching for ways to deflect Microsoft’s unsolicited attack. With the beast back in the cave and pondering over other prey, now it seems that the search-engine giant has set its loving eyes on the befallen AOL after all.
But in 2008, AOL has been reduced to a meager "division" rather than the internet mammoth it once was in the late 90’s / early 2000’s. Time Warner’s CEO Jeff Bewkes said that the company will split AOL’s access and media units into separate entities next year, and there’s even talks about closing AOL altogether. The staggering internet service lost 604,000 subscribers in the 2nd quarter of 2008 alone, with its operating income dropping down 36 precent.
Yahoo’s decision to discuss AOL with Time Warner comes as the result of an internal conflict within the Yahoo boardroom itself. Now with activist investor Carl Icahn and his two allies seated at the table, the once defunct talks with Time Warner now press on. If both companies can strike a deal, will Yahoo users be stricken down by the "You’ve Got Mail !" sound byte ? Only time will tell.