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? ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.