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At the end of 2005, Google made an interesting investment: $1 billion dollars for 5% of AOL. The move made sense for AOL – it provided it with a ton of new advertising, search, and revenue opportunities via a strong partnership with Google. Google, in return, got a 5-year deal to be AOL’s default search engine.
But the value of that deal has only dropped like a rock in a lake since then. AOL has continued to deteriorate, despite highlights like the acquisitions of Bebo and Socialthing. Thus, Google’s decided to cut its losses and has sold back its AOL stake for $283 million.