Not sure what to make of this report from Fortune that Yahoo has approached Time Warner to once again explore the notion of acquiring AOL. It’s framed as picking up the discussion from last year when the two were in intense talks over the search advertising deal that eventually became an AOL-Google exclusive. Google bought 5 percent of AOL for $1 billion as part of that. The way Fortune sees it whether its AOL, Facebook or something TBD, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel needs to make a move.
Would TW sell AOL? AOL Chairman and CEO Jonathan Miller seemed to leave that door open in recent U.K. remarks although a company spokesman downplayed sale possibilities at the time. Miller told the Sunday Telegraph: “It’s possible, going forward. It’s not a discussion that Time Warner has a problem with understanding or engaging in. Until we were on this present course, it wasn’t even the right discussion. Now it becomes more interesting. … I don’t believe there is a scenario whereby we could have an independent AOL. I think we would be bought as fast as we could draw up the papers.”
Yahoo gets a boost: Meanwhile, Yahoo got a pre-market boost from an upgrade to buy from neutral by Merrill Lynch analyst Justin Post, noting “many, now seemingly underappreciated, assets” including largest global user base, #2 video stream share and #2 search query share. He also noted the 24 percent year-over-year page view growth.