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Google Acquires 5% of AOL 404

Heembo writes "CNN is reporting that Google just acquired a 5% stake in AOL for $1 Billion, shutting Microsoft out of the deal." Under this new agreement, among many other things, Google Talk will now interface with AOL's instant messenger according to the announcement on Google's site. From the announcement: "Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said: 'AOL is one of Google's longest-standing partners, and we are thrilled to strengthen and expand our relationship. Today's agreement leverages technologies from both companies to connect Google users worldwide to a wealth of new content.'"
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Google Acquires 5% of AOL

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  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Kickboy12 ( 913888 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:28PM (#14305705) Homepage
    AOL has a reputation of being a bad ISP, and also creating bad software for it's users. Will this move help AOL, or hurt Google?

    This could get interesting. (fp?)
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kryogen1x ( 838672 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305736)
      Why not help both? Google gets a network for its messaging client, AOL is now influenced partially by google, maybe opening up Oscar in the future?
      • by log2.0 ( 674840 )
        Or AOL switches to Jabber?

        I can keep dreaming...
    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:54PM (#14305896) Homepage
      I was wondering if using google now required an extremely crappy browser, a popup laden program installed permanently on your machine making it crawl, and a service which is free for the first 3 months, then too expensive for the bandwidth provided.

      I stopped using AOL/ICQ a long time ago. It used to be popular, but AOL did a terrible job of maintaining that service. AOL's program and its assorted popups and ads were the predecessors of modern spyware and that has tainted AOL in the public's eye for the while. I think they should keep the customer base, but any future software endeavors headed by google should not include the AOL name.

      AOL Google. Somehow sounds like Microsoft Linux. It doesnt fit.
    • I thought all this was is:
      1. Google pays AOL $1 billion
      2. AOL pays a tiny percentage of it's profits to Google
      3. Google gets a say (a 5% say?) in AOL's policies etc

      So how could this possibly hurt Google? It's not like this is a merger...
      • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Informative)

        by Stonehand ( 71085 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:09PM (#14305998) Homepage
        Reading +billion+deal+for+AOL/2100-1025_3-6003187.html?tag =nefd.lede []

        AOL gets --
        * $1B investment. Not gift, but investment.
        * $300M credit for purchase of keyword ads.
        * Ability to sell ads across Google's network including third-party sites (!).
        * Assistance in opening up the 'walled garden' content to Google's crawler.
        * Collaboration on video search.

        Google --
        * Minority shareholder rights.
        * Possibly, more ads sold by AOL's marketing machine.
        * Possibly, higher CTR if AOL can do better ad sales -- through knowing more about its users, say (inferred).
        * Greater availability of the old 'walled garden' content.
        * Collaboration in online video search, which probably includes working with AOL's 'SingingFish' service, and perhaps access to content?
        * Interoperability to an IM network with a huge base -- slightly larger than MSN + Yahoo!, last I checked.

        There's also a defensive factor; a deal with MSN might have required shifting from Google to MSN, and that would mean some 25-30M search queries per day and ~10% of Google's advertising revenue.

        As to how Google might lose, well, if AOL were to collapse, the $1B investment might look like a bad idea; or if the changes drove away too many paying users (through ad clicks, not subscribers). Likewise, AOL might be considered to have lost if Microsoft would have been a better partner, or if people flee AIM to Google Talk, or so forth. But it's an interesting deal from both perspectives, I'd say.
        • Re:Interesting (Score:4, Insightful)

          by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @04:45AM (#14307284) Homepage Journal
          If Google goes with graphical ads on their search results it will chase hardcore Google fans away to search engines following the classic Google formula. I don't want spammed by websites and especially not by a search engine.

          Google has a winning formula so I hope they don't let AOL corrupt them and ruin them.
    • I hope this helps put winamp/nullsoft back on track... and make it the most popular media player.
      Mebbe they will hire justin frankel back... and then mebbe he would release a new p2p network, thats a BT killer... and gives a new life to file sharing. Even now no other media player has been able to give a visualization plugin as awesome as avs... its really unfortunate no more major development is being done on it. The king is dead, long live the king.
    • by JehCt ( 879940 ) * on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:34PM (#14306152) Homepage Journal

      When a good company buys a bad company, the result is usually mediocrity. It's can be much harder to fix a crap company than to start fresh and build it right.

      However, that isn't what's happening here. Google is only buying 5% AOL, and they already have a business relationship. Google crunched the numbers and determined that one Billion dollars was the right price to pay for renewing their lucrative contracts with AOL, establishing some new contracts, and disrupting Microsoft's plans.

    • Re:Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mrm677 ( 456727 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:42AM (#14306497)
      AOL has a reputation of being a bad ISP, and also creating bad software for it's users. Will this move help AOL, or hurt Google?

      Say what you want about AOL, but its the only software my 70-year old mother-in-law can operate. She still doesn't understand the concept of mouse-dragging and double-clicking an icon is a stretch for her.

      Yet she is an e-mail queen with AOL!

    • Re:Interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FireFury03 ( 653718 )
      AOL has a reputation of being a bad ISP, and also creating bad software for it's users. Will this move help AOL, or hurt Google?

      I'm not sure they have a reputation of being a "bad ISP" - they have a reputation of having a very large clueless userbase, which is not the same thing (if anything it might demonstrate their software is easier for clueless people to understand).

      Admittedly they've made some fundamentally stupid decisions which has probably driven away a proportion of clueful users whilest making cl
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:28PM (#14305706)
    It's about time there was some co-operation between IM networks. I wonder if this also means that AIM will be open to other Jabber-based networks to connect to easily - perhaps they are implementing a Jabber server based interface to the AIM network?

    This reminds me of the transition a couple of decades ago from multiple distinct email networks (Compuserve, AOL, BITNET, etc) to the one unified email system we have now. Hopefully in a few years it won't matter what IM network we are on to be able to communicate. And ideally, one's email address and IM address would be identical.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Excuse me, but how is this a troll? Seems like a fine comment to me
      • the comment isn't a troll but the subject is a reference to a trolling group... GNAA []

        the fact that we are having this discussion plays into the troller's plans but I'd rather inform someone than worry about being trolled ;)
    • by Slackrat ( 128095 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:07PM (#14305990)
      Sources close to the deal report that the two networks will be merged, but only for a lucky 5% of AIM users.
    • EMail addresses and IM addresses will never be identical without some layer of abstraction, because both expose some of the mechanics of how the messages are routed. In order for my Jabber ID to be the same as my email address, I must either manage my own domain -- which isn't an option for most people at this point -- or use the same provider for my email and my Jabber services. A user can choose to set things up this way for his own email address and Jabber ID, but no-one will ever be able to make the ass

  • by nxtw ( 866177 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:28PM (#14305714)
    Google's "Do No Evil" motto found to be obsolete.
    • by angryLNX ( 679691 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305737) Homepage
      From TFA: In a letter to Time Warner's board of directors released Monday, billionaire investor Icahn labeled the potential AOL-Google deal as "disastrous" because it may rule out potential future deals AOL might do with Google rivals such as eBay Inc. (Research) or Microsoft.

      Seems to me Google is slowly getting rid of AOL... for the benefit of society.

      They are doing no evil, hell, they're doing the world a huge service.
    • Because every self-respecting slashdotter knows that AOL is evil. Seriosuly people, since when were image ads and sucky ISPs evil? I don't like either, but 'evil'? Come on!
      • /., and any group for that matter, will react with knee-jerk emotionalism on any issue which doesn't fit their in-group idealogy. I remember Steven Pinker stating once it's not that groups of people act immoral it's actually that groups are driven by too much morality that leads to a sense of outrage and irrationality. When groups, like /., start calling things evil they are just as bad as the ID-mob and other God-driven agendas, they are confirming their in-group values whilst bespeaking devils of anyone w
      • Seriosuly people, since when were image ads and sucky ISPs evil?

        More along the lines of billing fraud (or would be, if there was such a thing anymore as a law meant to protect people instead of business interests).

        Honestly, how many other companies out there have a reputation approaching "If you want to unsubscribe, your best bet is to cancel the credit card."
    • by Keeper ( 56691 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:16PM (#14306048)
      Google's new motto: "Put a stake in evil".

  • I'm not even sure what to think about this.... it's going to take some time.

    The beginning of the end? Or do I trust Google enough that this isn't a sign of the Apocalypse... :-\

  • by drsmack1 ( 698392 ) * on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:29PM (#14305719)
    this means more stupid people will be using google. IN ALL CAPS!!!!!
  • ah well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:30PM (#14305726)
    Alas, fair Google, I knew ye well.

    Both entities are going to have to meet in the middle, as far as on screen visuals. Which can only be bad for the Google we all know and love.

  • by kadathseeker ( 937789 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305733) Homepage
    Not a dupe, it comnfirms the speculation in &tid=217&tid=120 []
  • by AEther141 ( 585834 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305738)
    With the arrival of graphical ads and corporate aquisitions it seems that post-IPO Google is abandoning a few of it's old principles in the pursuit of the almighty buck. How long before "Don't be Evil" is gone too? I could kinda live with Google's pseudomonopoly on searching back when their character was spotless, but this may well be the first lurch down a slippery slope. It may just be paranoia, but I think the days of trusting Larry and Sergey are coming to an end.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You should be worried, because part of this deal is "favorable results" for AOL content.

      Just as predicted, Google's going down the same sewage hole as every portal before it.
    • by ergo98 ( 9391 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:47PM (#14305851) Homepage Journal
      it seems that post-IPO Google is abandoning a few of it's old principles in the pursuit of the almighty buck

      The naivety around here is mind-blowingly astounding.

      Google's original, super-clean, no-ad interface was a differentiation to get them attention and eyeballs. Sure enough it worked wonders, and all of the techies and geeks (and overlaps between them) were raving about this great new search engine, encouraging all of their friends and family to use it as well (a no-pay sales force). Soon enough they started introducing those differentiated text-ads (which had a good click through rate because they were novel), and the rest is history.

      All of that was in pursuit of the almighty buck. The fact that someone could say that the company is now doing something in pursuit of the almighty buck, while this young company sits with a valuation of $127 billion dollars, is astounding.

      • by mnmn ( 145599 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:01PM (#14305954) Homepage
        In a different light, I dont think Google would turn into AOL for the alimighty buck. In fact the almighty buck dictates google to stay this way and turn AOL like itself.

        AOL hasnt been doing too well recently, but Google has been. Everyone can see whose philosophy works, and whose philosophy brings in the almighty buck.

        We know this is good news for google, just not how good of a news is it?

        Google bought a browser, and is now buying a major customer base. Theyve bought lots of dark fiber. Theyre in effect buying everything that surrounds a person, everything that a person uses to access the outside world. They wont risk losing such potential by making or using crappy software all of a sudden. If they allow people to use Linux, and one day remove ALL references to Microsoft on the Internet (the way Microsoft once tried for Linux websites), imagine the fallout. Google may be far more evil than AOL and Microsoft combined.
      • by Mostly a lurker ( 634878 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:18PM (#14306059)
        Personally, I see Google's current valuation of $127,000,000,000 as vindication of the Google strategy to date of building tools users like, while building public trust. If Google starts concentrating on its short term bottom line, and loses the goodwill it currently enjoys, I think you will see the valuation drop not rise.

        I shall, however, wait until there is concrete evidence of such a change in approach before assuming it will occur.

      • Once they became a publicly traded company, they then had one responsibility. To maximize shareholder's wealth. That is going to change your method of doing business from when it was 2 guys in their garage.
        • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:58PM (#14306286)
          Once they became a publicly traded company, they then had one responsibility. To maximize shareholder's wealth.

          Why do people assume that this is true of publicly held companies, but not true of pre-public companies working off of venture capital and private investment (even, Mom's cash)? When someone gives you a more modest pile of cash to help grow (or prevent the early demise of) a start-up company, you are already working to make that investment worth it (unless you want to lose your investors). Whether you're dealing with friends and family investing, or public shareholders, you'd better be doing your best to honor those investors' faith in you.
        • by mattwarden ( 699984 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:29AM (#14306407)

          Actually they structured their IPO such that this influence would be smaller than normal. I recall all the blowhards on the 24-hour news stations' business news shows telling everyone not to buy the Google IPO for long-term gain because of this. If I recall correctly, there are two types of stock shares: those owned by various people in Google, which get 10 votes per share; and those owned by the public, which get 1 vote per share.

          Yes, obviously they want their stock price to go up. But they aren't nearly as accountable to shareholders as most public companies.

    • I have to say, I don't see how "buy into related company and make their products interoperable" is either against their old principles or evil. Isn't IM interoperability a good thing? They didn't buy into other companies pre-IPO because they didn't have bundles of cash to throw around, not because it was evil.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305740)
    Because I know Slashdot would never post a dupe [].
  • by antiaktiv ( 848995 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:32PM (#14305741)
    at slashdot, google is good and aol is bad. will the servers melt?
  • The plan (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:34PM (#14305751)
    1. Buy 5% of AOL and have GTalk interoperate with AIM
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    Google is supposed to be smart, after all.
    • Step 2 is:

      2. Distribute millions of CDs containing the Intarweb to households worldwide

    • Google is supposed to be smart, after all.

      Well yeah. At this point they've got step 3 down cold.

    • Re:The plan (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hhawk ( 26580 )
      This is a pure move to stop Microsoft from a) killing googles current deail w/ AOL and from doing anything else with AOL that would hurt google. I doubt they care if their is any real upside.
  • by Mr. McGibby ( 41471 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:34PM (#14305754) Homepage Journal
    Pigs around the world grow wings, and start lifting off.

    Temperature in hell drops below 32 F.
  • Jabber? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:35PM (#14305757)
    I wonder if this means they will be going off standard jabber, using the AIM protocal, or will google setup a gateway for Jabber on google servers? Google has also announced full third party client support(gaim trillian etc), does this mean it will be extended to AIM? This could help the IM world get a little more organized.
    • Re:Jabber? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ari_j ( 90255 )
      I have a related question. Back when I was heavy into Jabber, I found that the inter-protocol transports lacked something that, to me, was a show-stopper. Their developers were of the mindset that "We don't know why you would want that feature, so therefore it must be worthless to anyone and we will not even look at your patch that implements it." I do not know if this applied to the AIM transport, as at the time I did not use AIM.

      Anyhow, the feature is this: The Jabber protocol is the single best th
  • by CokeBear ( 16811 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:38PM (#14305776) Journal
    There are good guys, and there are bad guys. (Yeah, I tend to see the world in black & white). Google was one of the good guys. (Also Apple, Nintendo, etc) and AOL was one of the semi-bad guys (along with Microsoft, Sony, etc). This messes up my whole worldview. I'm confused now.

    Also, Google and all their tools and toys seem to be something that is more smart people (lets say the top 50% of technology users) while AOL tended to be something for the dumber folks (lets call them the bottom 50%).

    Actually, now that I think about it in that context, makes perfect sense...

    • by VRisaMetaphor ( 87720 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:52PM (#14305883)
      There are good guys, and there are bad guys. (Yeah, I tend to see the world in black & white). Google was one of the good guys. (Also Apple, Nintendo, etc) and AOL was one of the semi-bad guys (along with Microsoft, Sony, etc). This messes up my whole worldview. I'm confused now.

      Yeah, you are confused, because there are no "semi-bad guys" in a world of black and white.
    • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:01PM (#14305952) Homepage Journal
      I've predicted before that it'll become fashionable to hate Google. Looks like that's starting to happen. Am I Nostradamus? Heh, no. I've seen a pattern here over the years. Any time an entity becomes big (especially when it's big because everybody wanted it), there are those that learn to live without it, and they feel superior. They speak out and stand behind some rival product that has benefits but is generally pretty far behind, and others who want to look as smart as they do chime in. Karma flows, and before you know it, the zealousy starts. After a while, those that switched sometimes come to the realization that they were actually better off with the old entity or product, so they switch back, then they're accused of having some sort of vested interest in the success of that entity.

      I imagine there'll be some head shaking after my post. That's cool. I just think that within a year or so, there'll be colorful posts about how to live without Google. "I don't use GMail, I use some other new mail app because it supports color in the subjects. (Score:5, Interesting)"

      Just so it's clear, it's not my intention to be insulting or 'right'. Mainly, this is curiosity. I'm posting this, then I'm going to bookmark it. In a year or so, I'll check back on it and see if I nailed it, or if I was once again talking out of my booty.
    • It is interesting to read all the comments. First, google, by any standard, is evil. It makes it money not be creating a product, but by aggregating content in such a way that they can attract eyeballs and sell advertisement. This is not necessarily bad, as advertising is necessary, and google is relatively low key. What is does mean is that the average user is not Google's customer and therefore Google, as a business, is not going to be primarily responsive to the need of the average user.

      That said,

    • I'm confused now.

      I know, you'll have to change your entire pigeon-hole worldview!

    • Did the Animaniacs become bad guys when AOL bought Time Warner? A corporation is not homogeneous. Blame AOL the ISP for their poor ISP standards, but that's not all they own. At the least, Time Warner controls a lot of media (probably more than Murdoch).

      AOL's instant messenger can be very valuable for Google. In the US, at least, it's the de facto standard for many general public social groups because of network effects. Google Talk is not going to succeed until they join it with some major network. (iChat
  • by PC-PHIX ( 888080 ) * <> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:38PM (#14305780) Homepage
    Google + AOL = GAOL []?
  • Maybe someday... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantum bit ( 225091 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:39PM (#14305783) Journal
    If Google Talk gets connected with the AIM network, and Google eventually allows Jabber server-to-server (big if, I know), I might possibly be able to talk to my friends on AIM without having to use Oscar...
  • Search engines come, and search engines go. Will the last one please shut out the lights!

    I wonder who's gonna occupy the SGI buildings next.
  • Adding 2 and 2... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:43PM (#14305818)
    1. Google buys dark fiber
    2. Google builds instant datacenters in shipping containers
    3. Google buys stake in dying dialup ISP with millions of users
    4. ??? (Do I really need to spell it out?)
    5. Profit. A whole lot of it.
  • by YoDave ( 184176 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:48PM (#14305858) Homepage
    A fat man is throwing chairs and popping veins.
    • From Uncyclopedia [], you can put him on your Linux box as well.

      ~$ cd /usr/bin
      /usr/bin$ sudo ln sudo fucking
      /usr/bin$ fucking ln gdm google
      /usr/bin$ fucking killall google

      Yeah, it's an old edit. The new one is neither valid nor on topic.
  • but then again, i'm a geek with AOLserver [] module hacking on his resume. hi there google!!!!
  • ... with the "don't be evil" slogan.

    You can't have an omelette and keep the eggs.
    You can't have the wolf fed and the sheep alive.
    You.. well you get me.

    I wonder if Google is 5% evil now, will AOL become 5% not evil.
    • 5% is merely the threshhold beyond which you have to jump through all kinds of regulatory hoops while 'announcing' your intentions to the market.

      Google could have bought 4.9% on the sly and not announced anything.
    • Before MS announced its interest in AOL, Google was nowhere near interested in an AOL deal (or so it seemed).
      Now, just because MS wanted it, Google got it first.

      Sometimes businesses are silly as they can possibly get. Remember the rush of everyone providing 1GB or better storage in their mail boxes in responce to Gmail? As if we all just die for a GB of storage we won't use cuz Google 'invented' it.

      Now Google has fallen pray to the same game. I hope they play their cards well. But really I think instead of
  • Graphical Ads (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by dduardo ( 592868 )
    I can't wait for the graphical ads google is going to start placing because of the agreement:

    Google's Graphical ADs []
  • NO!! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Eddy Da KillaBee ( 727499 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @10:59PM (#14305938)
    It's as if a million geeks cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
  • by One Blue Ninja ( 801126 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:00PM (#14305947) Homepage
    I swear, if I get ONE damned Google CD in the mail, EVER - I'll go to a LIBRARY before I look something up on Google again.
  • I gotta say (Score:2, Interesting)

    by lagerbottom ( 704499 )
    I have been giving AOL a lot of thought lately. And I really think there is something to the 'Value-Add' market for broad band. I think there is a real market for a company to come along and offer services that augment the highspeed "experience". If AOL does it right, they could still be a viable business once the dialup world has coughed it's last spasms.
  • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <> on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:12PM (#14306019) Homepage Journal
    ... a scorpion spotted an old dog by the river.

    "Carry me across," begged the scorpion, "and I promise not to sting you."

    The dog was wise and slow to reply. "I don't think so," he growled. "I've never met a trustworthy scorpion."

    "Today you have," hissed the scorpion with as much of a smile as he could manage. "I'm not evil, like other creatures of my kind. Besides, if I stung you, I'd drown. Carry me across and I promise all will be well."

    The dog relented, taking the scorpion on his back. He paddled out into the current. Halfway across, the scorpion stung him behind the neck.

    "Now we will both surely die!" the dog moaned as the venom began to take hold. "Why have you done this?"

    "Because I am a scorpion, of course."

  • .... is a chair hitting a wall in Redmond Washington.
  • by seanduffy ( 930895 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:14PM (#14306035) Homepage
    The AIM of this deal is clearly to take over the instant messaging market, aka, AIM. With Google's ability to throw together amazing software (look at Gmail), I see a skype-esque but better client that supports itself via ads by scanning your conversations (maybe - if they push it that far - backlash might be too big). Personally, I would not have a problem with that, but I say no to cyber sex.

    Google had to sacrifice quite a lot to snag this deal but if you take over instant messaging, you can take over voip, hence, you can take over telecommunications when cell "phones" can simply operate via wi-fi. I say, good move Google - I love you baby.
  • Meanwhile (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dummyname12 ( 886454 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:19PM (#14306065)
    Major Time Warner shareholder Carl Icahn is calling this a "disastrous" decision. []
    • Re:Meanwhile (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ewe2 ( 47163 ) <> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @03:02AM (#14307018) Homepage Journal

      No shit and here's why:

      Icahn, who has said he is waging an "all-out proxy battle" to force Time Warner to step up asset sales and streamline, cited a recent report by Goldman Sachs that argued that Google may not be the best long-term partner for America Online.

      This wouldn't be the same Goldman Sachs locked out by Google during its IPO, wouldn't it? Nothing to see here, just a couple of vested interests having a whine.

  • When you absolutely positively need your news about 3 days later than everyone else.
  • AOL has tried a couple of times to get its users switched off the Microsoft OS and Browser. They do have a lot of users, so given the right technology, perhaps AOL could convince people to switch to Linux and Netscape.

    If they hurt Microsoft's platform strategy, that means more sales for both AOL and Google.

    I could be wrong about this, and probably am, but this is one possible explanation.

    Otherwise, Google's just gone and alienated some of their geeky users in exchange for some short term profit and tr

  • by nemmi ( 33230 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:33PM (#14306151) Homepage
    It is just a matter of time before the advertisers that use Google say "enough." They are having channel conflict now at every move they make. This infusion puts them in serious jeopardy of losing major advertising dollars by directly and indirectly competing with their sponsors. They are no longer agnostic to service providers with this move: 1) ISP 2) VoIP 3) Cable TV 4) Communications Carrier Networks

    I would be willing to wager that this has serious implications to their bottom line.

    The air in here is getting pretty brown, and with that, we will see a new google come in and take some market share. There was a reason we all started using google after the likes of infoseek and other good search engines back in the day went south due to poor management vision, index spamming and advertising revenue crater. They are not learning from the mistakes of their predecessors. My recommendation to Larry and Sergey: Sell some stock now.

  • by mattwarden ( 699984 ) on Tuesday December 20, 2005 @11:35PM (#14306157)

    My friend once told me about this time when he made out with a girl who he later found out was his cousin. He tried to explain the feeling to me. He said that his enjoyment made the post-revelation remorse much worse. But I didn't understand.

    Jon -- if you're out there -- I get it now.

  • by HockeyPuck ( 141947 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:00AM (#14306293)
    /. crowd: Get your head out of the sand...

    One of Google's issues right now is diversification of revenue streams. Most of their revenue comes from search and ads. They need to find more revenue from different areas, so what if they decided to provide the backend search and advertising infrastructure to AOL? AOL still provides the same interface and experience to it's users while Google still gets to have it's same interface that the general /. population likes.

    What if google provided AOL with the ability to provide customized Ads to AOL users instead of AOL having to perform the work? It's called outsourcing, execute what you are good at and outsource the rest to people that are better at those tasks. If Google is good at displaying the correct ads, then it's in AOL's best interest to leverage this ability. AOL pays for this service and then Google has one more revenue stream.

  • by retro128 ( 318602 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:01AM (#14306297)
    With all the dark fiber purchases and rumblings I'm hearing about Google regarding streaming video, is it possible that the AOL buy is ultimately to get access to Time Warner's network?
  • what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) < minus punct> on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @12:10AM (#14306330) Homepage
    It takes a billion dollars to make two companies agree to open up their IM clients? ...

    I wonder what it takes to get two to agree on anti-spam or anti-phish techniques...

  • by EEBaum ( 520514 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @04:03AM (#14307175) Homepage
    Hey, I thought this company was Google. Our happy interweb friend. What kind of speak is this?

    Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt said: 'AOL is one of Google's longest-standing partners, and we are thrilled to strengthen and expand our relationship. Today's agreement leverages technologies from both companies to connect Google users worldwide to a wealth of new content.

    Leverages technologies? Wealth of new content? WTF?
    Methinks Saruman's been looking into the palantir.
  • Stop worrying (Score:3, Informative)

    by fbg111 ( 529550 ) on Wednesday December 21, 2005 @11:10AM (#14308989)
    From an outsider's point of view, it seems the reason for this deal is that AOL will keep Google search engine and Ad programs, the latter of which make up about 12% of Google's revenues. Google did this to protect their revenue and by extension, stock price. AOL gets a lot of money, and perhaps the cachet of a closer partnership with Google. As a side benefit, Google also gets to tie Google Talk in with AIM. It was an unfortunate necessity for Google, but that's business. Maybe they'll eventually persuade AOL to dump IE and go back to a Gecko-based browser...

APL hackers do it in the quad.