A plausible perspective
Keep this idea in mind. Every move AOL makes from here on is done solely with Google in mind.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong came from Google and knows that company as well as anyone. I am told he is convinced that Google will eventually have to give up its idea of not paying for content and will buy a big journalistic organization with some of the $30 billion in Google cash that’s lying around Mountain View.
In Armstrong’s view Google could buy Time-Warner, repeating the whole AOL Time-Warner debacle; it could buy Yahoo; or it could buy AOL. No other content providers are big enough to satisfy Google’s expected hunger. I’m told that Armstrong quite rightly sees a stigma on Time-Warner, that Yahoo isn’t a pure enough play and risks anti-trust problems in the search space, while AOL is just right.