Reuters is reporting that the deal $1 billion deal that has Google buying a 5% stake in AOL is a go after being approved at today's Time Warner Board Meeting.
A press release from Time Warner officially confirms it's a go.
The news release calls the deal an expansion of the AOL/Google strategic partnership that's been around for three years.
Here are some highlights from the news release.
In my original post from last week I wondered aloud if a this new AOL/Google deal would mean anything in the IM world where AOL's AIM is the market learder and the new Google Talk. Would interoperability be possibility? It looks like my thoughts were right along with what was being discussed between the two companies.
News release passages in italics:
+ Google Talk users and AIM users will be able to communicate with one another if, and the following is a direct quote, "if certain conditions are met."
+ Collaborating in video search and showcasing AOL's premium video service within Google Video
I spent quite a bit of space speculating on what this might mean for AOL Video and Google Video now and in the future my post from last Friday. Between the two companies they sure have a good chunk of video search technology.
+ Creating an AOL Marketplace through white labeling of Google's advertising technology - enabling AOL to sell search advertising directly to advertisers on AOL-owned properties.
+ "Expanding display advertising throughout the Google network."
Exactly what type of display ads and where they will be seen is not specified. Danny has blogged about Google and displayed ads (before this official announcement).
+ Making AOL content more accessible to Google Web crawlers.
Again, what this precisely means was not made clear in the release. I guess placement of this content is what many of us are wondering about. Danny's article linked above also talks about the, "SEO advice Google already gives other large companies as part of the sales pitch and support to get them to buy ads."
+ Providing AOL marketing credits for its Internet properties.
AOL and Google have also agreed to extend the term of their existing European relationship, and, subject to mutual agreement, they may extend the AOL Marketplace internationally. In addition, Google, AOL and Time Warner may choose to expand the new partnership to Time Warner's other advertising opportunities.
Bottom Lines and Comments from Management:
+ "The agreement creates a global online advertising partnership, makes more of AOL's industry-leading content available to Google users, and includes a $1 billion investment in AOL by Google."
+ Google will become the only shareholder in AOL other than Time Warner. Google will have certain customary minority shareholder rights, including those associated with any future sale or public offering of AOL.
+ Time Warner Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Parsons said: "We're very pleased to build significantly on our special relationship with Google in a way that will meaningfully strengthen AOL's position in the fast-growing online advertising business and help drive more advertisers to its Web properties...A critical piece of this strategic alliance will be our content, which we will be making more accessible to Google users."
+ "We've also created a simple way for AOL Marketplace advertisers to buy and place search-related advertising across the AOL network. This partnership is an important next step for our companies."
--Eric Schmidt, Google CEO
+ "AOL and Google have a very successful history working together, and this is an opportunity to take it to a new level that will benefit both companies and the customers we serve. We are excited about working with Google on the next generation of AOL products, while further expanding our presence on the Web. This is a great moment for AOL."
-- Jonathan Miller, AOL's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer