AOL/Compuserve, AOL/Netscape, AOL/Time Warner. Why Not AOL/ Yahoo?
I’m hoping the two of them will beat each other’s brains out over search and leave the display market to us. I think it’s a mistake. But I think Napoleon said never interrupt your enemy when they’re in the middle of making a mistake.”
—AOL CEO Randy Falco, Feb. 26
Hope AOL CEO Randy Falco doesn’t think a merger of AOL and Yahoo (YHOO) is as big a mistake as a merger of Microsoft (MSFT) and Yahoo, because AOL parent Time Warner (TWX) has stepped up merger and joint-venture talks with the besieged company. Engineered to thwart Microsoft’s hostile bid for Yahoo, the deal would see Yahoo acquire Time Warner’s AOL in exchange for the media conglomerate taking a large minority stake in the resulting monstrosity. The companies believe the arrangement would create an online advertising powerhouse. And given the vast success of the AOL/Compuserve, AOL/Netscape and AOL/Time Warner mergers, how could they possibly be wrong?
News of talks follows Yahoo’s extension of the deadline for nominating directors to “10 days following the public announcement of the date for Yahoo’s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders,” a move that will postpone whatever proxy battle Microsoft may–or may not–be cooking up. “As the company has not yet announced the date of this year’s annual meeting, the amendment will give stockholders who want to nominate one or more directors, including Microsoft Corporation, more time to do so,” Yahoo said in a statement. “The amendment does not preclude any party from nominating one or more directors at any time prior to the new deadline.”