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Microsoft to Buy Stake in AOL 333

NetDanzr writes "According to various sources (Bloomberg, Reuters, CNet), Microsoft is in talks with Time Warner to buy a stake in AOL. While the size of the stake or its prize has not been disclosed yet, Bloomberg speculates that this deal would profit both companies. Microsoft would profit from merging the AOL portal with MSN, as a strategy to catch up with his rivals in this space Yahoo and Google, while Time Warner would gain some ammunition in its fight with a renegade shareholder, Carl Icahn. According to CNBC, AOL is just about to turn the corner and is currently the most undervalued division of Time Warner."
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Microsoft to Buy Stake in AOL

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  • Nooooooo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mitchell Mebane ( 594797 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @10:48AM (#13566406) Homepage Journal
    I thought the curse of the zombies was bad enough - now they'll be able to take over the world. Was the internet not bad enough already?

    I wonder if this deal has been in the making for a while - it would explain why AOL decided not to use Gecko.
  • by Art Pollard ( 632734 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:06AM (#13566622)

    This could be viewed as Microsoft making a bid to buy Netscape. Remember that AOL owns what is left of Netscape. This of course, includes the FireFox browser as well.

    So beyond the anti-trust issues surrounding a joined MSN-AOL portal / service, is the issue of Microsoft potentially owning at least a stake in the major browser that competes against Internet Explorer. Also, it is important to note that partial buy-outs are often precursors to complete buyouts.

  • New Mod Needed (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:09AM (#13566657) Journal
    +1 Question

    How does this simple question get marked so insightful. Anytime someone mentions anything about any browser people pop-up the question that includes "end of netscape?"
  • by GecKo213 ( 890491 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:22AM (#13566784) Homepage

    Oh great! If this happens we may see the popup window ravage the desktop at all times. When you first sign in to Windows you may now get to see multiple credit card offers and all sorts of popup ads. Not to mention when you log off windows wouldn't let you shut down until the AOL portion of software imbedded has received all of it's needed updates!
    Damn the Machine!

  • by tenverras ( 855530 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:23AM (#13566788)
    You mean outside of the fact that in an agreement for AOL/TimeWarner to help fund the Mozilla Foundation, AOL get's the right to use Gecko(I believe I have the right core name lol) as the core for their Netscape browser? While MS won't be able to usurpe the rights to use the core, it is likely that they will try to use their stake in AOL to reduce or eliminate the funding AOL provides the Mozilla Foundation
  • by ubuntu2005 ( 912188 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:25AM (#13566804)
    Probably a nice investment for MS if they can combine their msn messenger users with AOL's instant messenger users. Would be quite dominant, and who knows the services they will think of to generate money from that. I have read countless articles about younger people not using emails these days, and using just instant messaging, noticed this specifically when I travelled to Korea this summer.
  • by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <> on Thursday September 15, 2005 @11:36AM (#13566925) Homepage Journal
    Not that this would be why MS is purchasing them, but if there are still Mozilla developers working for AOL, my guess is that they'll be out of a job, soon.

    Also, the next edition of Netscape will be based solely upon IE, and won't be released for anything but Windows.

    Either way, though, its a nice way to see all the 'Evil' group up. Fine by me, and I'm sure Mozilla will find another home (Novell, possibly? Or IBM? Who knows, maybe Sun, or even a coalition)
  • Re:holy shit! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pete6677 ( 681676 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:01PM (#13567160)
    I think Microsoft has been wanting to buy AOL for a long time but couldn't get around anti-trust regulations. Now that they are only buying part, and since there is competition in this aspect of the market, it will be easier for them to do. But I agree, AOL sucks bad enough already I don't think Microsoft could crappify it much more.
  • by zlogic ( 892404 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @12:59PM (#13567686)
    If you can't kill them with quality, you can kill them with quantity. MSN Dialup is not enough, now if they own a part in AOL they can ask them to redirect all requests to Or, even worse, break Google's pages randomly and then claim that "MSN is better than Google". They are already saying it, now they'll have proof. Remember how they broke MSN's homepage if the browser reported it was Opera? This is just the case.
    So, all n00bs who use AOL will think that Google has become crap and Ballmer will have his dream fulfilled. Additionally, Microsoft will save money on broken chairs.
  • Re:holy shit! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hanshotfirst ( 851936 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @02:28PM (#13568791)
    now take AOL, something already crappy. i can't possibly imagine what microsoft can do it. maybe this time around people will actually shy away to something else.

    You mean like they originally did with MS-DOS? I recall they turned that into Windows.

  • Re:holy shit! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Thursday September 15, 2005 @07:52PM (#13571710)
    By the way, anybody ever done the math on those Free Hours CDs? They always have the limitation that you use them within a month. There's only 744 hours in a 31-day month.

Money can't buy love, but it improves your bargaining position. -- Christopher Marlowe