Google and Comcast are in Talks to Acquire Minority Stake in AOL

Here we go again. More news on the AOL/Microsoft/Google story.

The Wall Street Journal has just posted a report that Google and cable television/high-speed Internet giant, Comcast, are in “serious discussions” with AOL (Time Warner) about acquiring a “minority” stake in AOL’s portal business (not the dial-up access part).

From the WSJ:

How closely Google and Comcast are aligned in the talks isn’t clear. Google approached Comcast about participating in a bid for AOL last week, according to a person familiar with the matter. But Google may end up making a bid on its own, another person said.

We’ve mentioned several times that AOL has yalked to Microsoft about acquiring a minority stake in the company. Actually, the original NY Post story in September noted that AOL had also talked at that point to Google and Yahoo. A few weeks later the Time Warner CEO told the NY Times that he sees AOL has an important asset for his company.

Is any of this surprising? Hardly! It’s war out there folks especially between MS and Google.

Btw, if you’re thinking the local tv ad buys, an ad on Google could also get you an ad on a Comcast Cable System. Comcast has about 21.5 subscribers. Of course, a new MSN adCenter ad could also get you placement on the many cable systems TW owns and operates. TW Cable has about 16 million subs (analog and digital). Both companies also operate hi-speed net accees, digital phone, and digital recorder services.

Postscript: has more from the WSJ story including some numbers.

Postcript 2: From Reuters:

The talks between AOL, Google and Comcast have progressed over the summer, but one source warned that the discussions were still in early stages and could fall apart.

AOL contacted Comcast earlier this summer and has held separate discussions with Google over potential investments, the sources said.

Google has discussed with AOL interest in AOL’s free Web-based services, such as instant messaging and programming. In addition, Google contacted Comcast last week over possible interest in executing a joint investment, one source said.

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