Monday, September 19, 2005

Forbes: Potential AOL-MSN deal wouldn't hurt Google much

There has been rumors lately, that MSN would merge with AOL to create a larger online unit with more search queries and more market power in general. I never liked Time Warner merging with AOL in the first place. I Always preferred Yahoo!s open approach to all potential content providers compared to the "forced marriage" type of deal of AOL Time Warner - where they did combine eyeball owners with content - but also excluded themselves from worker with the vast majority of content owners. But the fact that AOL and Time Warner weren't a perfect match, doesn't mean that AOL and MSN is.

Combining MSN and AOL would hold some advantages but also disadvantages. Merging cultures and mindsets are never easy. AOL is on the defensive with other type of Internet Service Providers gaining market share. I just don't see these two already challenged businesses in a merged unit being able to compete with the dynamics and aggressiveness of Google and their superior product - or Yahoo! for that matter.

Check out the article - it is a quick read. Amongst others they mention, that AOL replacing Google with MSN would only impact 2-3% of Google's operating profit.

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