News Corp. Appears To Close Door As AOL Opens One To A Potential Deal With Yahoo
Monday News Corp.’s Rupert Murdoch seemed to say that he won’t be doing a deal with Yahoo, which argued that Yahoo had few options left in its bid to stay independent. However, today, in an article in the NY Times, Time Warner Chief Jeffrey L. Bewkes said that he’s ready to make a deal and potentially spin off AOL. That could mean a Yahoo-AOL announcement of some sort in the coming weeks.
The NY Times article mentions a potential deal with Yahoo only in passing and instead details problems and acrimony within AOL:
“Several recently departed executives contacted this week described the climate at AOL as acrimonious. They said there had been confrontational meetings of employees as well as screaming matches in offices, as senior executives worried about making their aggressive quarterly ad sales goals. Mr. Bewkes acknowledged Tuesday that revenue at AOL would be flat for at least another quarter.”
Indeed, the stars may be aligning for a potential alliance with Yahoo in an effort to address both companies’ woes. However, the terms and structure of any such relationship is uncertain and where the stumbling blocks would likely come. Danny has written about what that potential configuration might look like.
After the Murdoch statement I had again assumed the inevitability of Micro-Hoo. However, Bewkes’ remarks appear to signal that Time Warner is now looking for a deal for AOL in earnest. There’s more coverage, including of some of the recent AOL personnel intrigue, at Techmeme.