Feeds

T-Online to take over AOL?

True or false

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

"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? ®

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Hey, Scots. Microsoft's Bing thinks you'll vote NO to independence
World's top Google-finding website calls it for the UK
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.