Google Spends $1 Bln for 5 Pct Stake in AOL

In what’s being hailed as a landmark deal, Web search (and stock market) phenom Google has agreed to invest $1 billion for 5 percent stake in America Online as part a newly expanded strategic alliance and online advertising partnership. The agreement centers around AOL’s content offerings and Google ability to put links to those offerings in front of millions of Web users: AOL gets more people to access (and buy!) its stuff, where Google can enhance its own services and offerings by integrating AOL content.

The broad agreement includes the following important points:

  • Google will provide AOL an estimated $300 million in marketing credit on Google Internet properties like Google search, Froogle, and Google Local.
  • Google Talk, the company’s Jabber-based instant messaging client, will be able to interoperate with AIM “provided certain conditions are met.”
  • Google will help AOL optimize its content for better placement and discoverability by Google’s (and, presumably, other) Web indexing engines.
  • Google and AOL will collaborate to create a video search feature showcasing AOL’s video content within Google Video.
  • Google will expand display advertising opportunities to AOL (and others) throughout the Google network. This includes Google enabling advertisers to put ads with graphics on Google’s search results pages and in other Google online offerings.
  • The companies will collaborate to create an AOL Marketplace through which AOL can sell search ads on AOL properties using Google’s advertising technology.

Placing a $1 billion price tag on a 5 percent stake in AOL implicitly values the company at $20 billion, a key figure if dissident AOL shareholder Carl Icahn proxy campaign to sell off Time Warner assets bears fruit. Icahn argued against the AOL/Google deal, labelling it “disastrous” because it may close doors on future buy-ins or mergers with companies like eBay, Microsoft, or IAC/Interactive.

So far, analysts generally hold that AOL gains the lion’s share of concrete rewards from the deal: they’ve opened up Google’s famously spartan text-based search results ad placements to graphics, converted Google’s industry-leading ad placement system into their in-house partner, picked up a free $300 million in advertising on the Web’s leading search engine, and walked away with a fistful of cash. For Google, the move is seen as more of a strategic win: it’s not so much that Google bought a 5 percent stake in AOL, but that Google prevented Microsoft from taking away AOL’s search business. AOL is reportedly Google’s single largest advertising customer, accounting for over $400 million in ad spending during the first 9 months of 2005 (roughly 10 percent of Google’s revenue). If fuddy-duddy Microsoft had been able to kneecap Google’s search business, Google wouldn’t as easily be able to position itself as a technology leader or a success story as information technology continues to shift its focus from desktops to the Internet.

Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Computing

Keep your laptop battery in tip-top condition with these handy tips

Learn how to care for your laptop's battery, how it works, and what you can do to make sure yours last for years and retains its charge. Check out our handy guide for valuable tips, no matter what type of laptop you have.
Deals

Now’s your chance to get the latest iPad Pro for $100 less on Amazon

The latest iPad Pro has always been our favorite since its release last year, and we even tagged it as the best tablet ever. Don’t miss out on Amazon’s discount on the 12-inch 256GB Wi-Fi model and get yours today for $1,049.
Computing

From Chromebooks to MacBooks, here are the best laptop deals for August 2019

Whether you need a new laptop for school or work, we have you covered. We've put together a list of the best laptop deals going right now, from discounted MacBooks to on-the-go gaming PCs.
Deals

Amazon cuts $52 off this Samsung Galaxy 10.1-inch tablet for the whole family

Normally priced at $330, you can grab the Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1-inch 128GB Wi-Fi tablet now for only $278 and enjoy $52 savings. On top of that, Amazon is offering an extra $28 discount when you apply for a coupon during checkout.
Computing

Tired of choosing between Windows and Mac? Check out these Chromebooks instead

We've compiled a list of the best Chromebooks -- laptops that combine great battery life, comfortable keyboards, and the performance it takes to run Google's lightweight Chrome OS. From Samsung to Acer, these are the Chromebooks that really…
Computing

1.5% of Chrome users’ passwords are known to be compromised, according to Google

In February, a new feature was introduced to the Google Chrome browser which checks whether users' passwords are secure. Now, Google has released eye-opening stats gathered from Password Checkup.
Computing

Tired of your Mac freezing? Try these tips to fix your Mac

A Mac that keeps freezing can be an incredibly annoying thing to deal with, but fixing it doesn’t have to be a pain. There are six main things you should try, which we got through in this guide to help you fix the issue once and for all.
Computing

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.
Computing

Latest Windows 10 update is causing random reboots and can break Visual Basic

The latest update for Windows 10, made available on Tuesday this week, includes patches against two critical vulnerabilities. But it is causing a string of issues including random reboots and failure to install.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Enjoy your music on more devices: Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3

FLAC files sound awesome — that is, if your device can handle the lossless format. No matter your OS there's a converter for you. Here's how to convert FLAC to MP3, so you no longer have to worry about incompatibility issues.
Computing

Windows 10 can split and resize windows with ease. Here's how to do it

The window management features of Windows 10 can be particularly helpful for those who frequently multitask. Here's how to split your screen according to your workflow needs by using Snap Assist and other native tools.
Computing

Installing fonts in Windows 10 is quick and easy -- just follow these steps

Want to know how to install fonts in Windows 10? Here's our guide on two easy ways to get the job done, no matter how many you want to add to your existing catalog, plus instructions for deleting fonts.