The Microhoo stalemate drags on. Now that both Microsoft
Think about it. Microsoft can certainly afford to acquire Time Warner's
Well, this morning's Wall Street Journaldetails the traffic turnaround at America Online. Domestic traffic to AOL's websites has risen by 15% to 56.5 million unique visitors, according to comScore Media Metrix.
AOL's stateside success comes at a time when content heavies like CNET Networks
Now that AOL no longer actively promotes its access business, it has been making its online properties more attractive to reach the entire Web-surfing audience. The company has also bought sites -- fantasy football site Fleaflicker.com this week and social-networking hub Bebo last month -- to grow its audience beyond its organic efforts.
The AOL of today -- heavy in both online traffic and display-advertising prowess -- is exactly what Microsoft is after in Yahoo!. AOL may be a poor man's Yahoo!, but it's also likely to be a realistically priced one, too. Time Warner has tired of the online baggage, and there is no way it would command the kind of multiples that Yahoo! has turned down.
In Yahoo!'s arms, AOL would be more of the same, and it would be beyond the clutches of either Microsoft or existing AOL minority investor Google
Time Warner will report on its quarterly results Wednesday. It may very well address the state of AOL and its options. If Microsoft and Yahoo! are smart, they'll be knocking early to make sure that they are on that list of exit strategy options.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz tells people that he's the "you've got mail" guy for kicks. He does not own shares in any companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.