The AOL Deal, Nothing's Changed

After months of dancing with a number of potential partners, it appears that Time Warner has decided to keep things basically the same.  They keep their search partnership with Google intact, on probably much better terms though. And they get Google to place a $20bn valuation on AOL.

They remain a second tier player along with Microsoft and they continue to go it alone.

This may be the best course for AOL.  Time will tell.  I certainly can’t criticize the decision.

But a combination with Microsoft, whether total or partial, seemed to offer a number of tantalizing possibilities.  A real third option in search, a power to challenge Yahoo! in CPM ads (banners, etc), and a traffic monster.

With this scenario, nothing really changes.  Which is why this is a bigger victory for Google than anyone else, including AOL.

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