Yahoo and AOL: Like Two Louts Merging to Make One Cretin
Looks like Carl Icahn did show up to his first Yahoo board meeting, though it appears he wasn’t able to get much done. The new board, which also includes former Viacom CEO Frank Biondi and former CEO of Nextel Partners (S), John Chapple, reportedly met Tuesday and decided as a first course of business to talk to Time Warner about the future of its AOL division. Odd, since Boomtown reported earlier this week that the company has already been been doing just that, and the talks “are more serious than has been reported.” In fact, there’s even a price being bandied about: more than $5 billion, but less than $8 billion. Time Warner is said to be angling for $10 billion.
So perhaps this means that those talks are about to become more serious still. Time Warner (TWX) CEO Jeff Bewkes did say earlier this month that AOL’s future “will probably get decided fairly soon.”
And if it does and the company is able to ditch AOL on Yahoo? Well, as I’ve said before, Yahoo (YHOO) will no doubt spin such a combination as one that would bolster its domestic market position. But rather than a synergistic powerhouse, a merger of these companies is more like two louts coming together to make one cretin. Not exactly a proven formula, considering recent history. AOL+Compuserve = FAIL. AOL+Netscape = FAIL. AOL+Time Warner = FAIL. AOL+Yahoo?