Verizon Wireless is rumored to be in talks with AOL for a joint venture or acquisition that would expand Verizon's footprint in mobile video advertising. AOL's growing revenue from its ad-tech initiatives could elevate Verizon as a leader in online advertising, writes DH Kass.
Analysts and experts are divided as to what effect Microsoft's interest in Yahoo! might have on AOL, which is rebuilding itself as an ad-supported content network. While some say a deal would give rivals like Google and others a reason to look at AOL as a potential acquisition, others suggest that AOL would find itself as a distant third-place player in the online ad space if Microsoft and Yahoo! were to join forces.
Microsoft would gain a clear advantage over rival Google in terms of search engine advertising via a rumored acquisition or partnership with America Online, but it's less obvious what's in it for AOL. Jupiter Research analyst David Card told BusinessWeek that a potential deal "is risky for AOL unless there's a big payoff."
Industry buzz holds that Time Warner may seek to divest itself of its AOL unit, and people close to Richard Parsons say the CEO is focusing his attention on the matter. Although AOL is still the country's leading Internet provider, its subscriber base is dwindling.