AOL-Google: The Deal As Non-Deal


This is the ultimate status-quo of a deal…nothing really changes from what it was. All this does is ward off Microsoft. Other than that, besides the billion dollars changing hand, really, nothing much will happen. All the talk about AOL doing this on Google or Google conceding that to AOL…it is what it is: bunkum. The deal details about Google giving preferential treatment to AOL’s results and video: again, this is all PR hogwash. For Richard Parsons, the deal does what he wanted: give the company a $20 billion valuation, and gives him political leeway and post-rationalization credo of hanging on to AOL.

All of us have seen these we-were-really-rivals-but-let’s-kiss-up-and-broadly-collaborate kind of deals…you can literally fill in the blanks with the litany of such non-arrangements.

Give it two years, and come back and see whether any of it will make any material difference to the bottomline of both the companies. I may have to eat my words then, but again, I doubt it…

P.S.: Let me rephrase what I’m trying to say above, from another angle: The deal is important precisely because it manages to make sure of one thing: nothing changes. That is the biggest blow Microsoft can get these days…

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