Feeds

T-Online to take over AOL?

True or false

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

"Totally unfounded," Deutsche Telekom hotshot Kai-Uwe Ricke last week said of rumors that online daughter T-Online was to buy a 70 per cent stake in the struggling online giant AOL. But there may be more truth to this story than he is willing to admit.

On Friday, The New York Times cited two anonymous AOL company executives who confirmed that Richard Parsons, the CEO of Time Warner, held preliminary discussions with T-Online about a possible merger or joint venture involving AOL. Apparently, the talks ended without a deal.

Earlier, the Suddeutsche Zeitung (for those who read German, here's the link to the original article) wrote that Parsons and Thomas Holtrop from T-Online were introduced to each other by Thomas Middelhoff, the former Bertelsmann CEO who in the past worked with AOL in AOL Europe and is now employed by Investcorp in London. Bertelsmann ended its relationship with AOL when in 2000 America Online purchased Time Warner for... (Dr. Evil pinkie finger to mouth trepidation)... $112 billion.

According to the German paper, Darmstadt-based T-Online offered $1 billion for a 70 per cent stake in AOL. Time Warner was to keep 30 per cent.

It's no secret that Time Warner would like to discard its struggling Internet arm, even though Edward Adler, a spokesman for Time Warner, told The New York Times that "America Online delivers over $1 billion in free cash flow to Time Warner each year and that AOL Europe is on a path to profitability in ’04 as promised".

T-Online, on the other hand, is still flourishing: it has 12 million customers, mostly in Germany, but also in Spain, France, Portugal and Austria. Not only does T-Online wants to expand internationally, it also has cash reserves of €4 billion. Which makes you wonder: if it can’t get AOL, who will it buy next? ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.