One day after getting scooped by the New York Post on a major story about talks between Microsoft and Time Warner concerning a possible partnership between America Online and MSN, three big newspapers each followed up with their own spin on the deal.

  • The Wall Street Journal is reporting that talks are revolving around the possibility of AOL switching its search engine from Google to Microsoft.
  • The New York Times points out that the talks were initiated by Microsoft which at one point had made overtures to both AOL and Yahoo! about selling its MSN service.
  • The Washington Post raises the possibility that the two online networks might combine their advertising sales forces.

No one from either Microsoft or Time Warner would comment on the record for reporters. According to Nielsen NetRatings metrics, a combined MSN-AOL would command 18% of the domestic search audience, making it third behind Google's 46% and Yahoo!'s 23%.

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