The Time Warner Board has voted and AOL will be spun off into an independent company. Right now, Time Warner owns 95% of AOL and Google owns the other 5%. Time Warner plans to buy back the 5% Google stake in the third quarter of 2009 before it spins off AOL.
Brand spankin' new AOL CEO (and former Google VP) Tim Armstrong had this to say:
This will be a great opportunity for AOL, our employees and our partners. Becoming a standalone public company positions AOL to strengthen its core businesses, deliver new and innovative products and services, and enhance our strategic options. We play in a very competitive landscape and will be using our new status to retain and attract top talent. Although we have a tremendous amount of work to do, we have a global brand, a committed team of people, and a passion for the future of the Web.
AOL is made up of media and internet access services. Last year, there was talk of splitting those two divisions into two companies, but thus far, nothing has come of it.
Despite AOL's relatively small chunk of the search market (compared to Google), it's Platform-A online ad network is highly successful, consistently ranking at the top of comScore's online ad rankings and reaching 91% of the U.S. internet audience.
How do you think AOL will fare on its own? Share your predictions in the comments.
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!