A year and a half ago, we wrote about how Steve Case had publicly stated that the AOL-Time Warner merger disaster was his fault. While many people misread this to believe the merger was a mistake, Case's comments were actually focusing on how the execution of the merger was a mistake. The same thing is happening all over again. Apparently, no one bothered to look up Case's past statements, even if it was only a year and a half ago. Steve Case has basically said the exact same thing, and the press is playing it up as if regrets the merger. However, once again, the details show he still believes the merger made sense, but the follow through (which certainly was his responsibility) was bungled. The idea of teaming up AOL and Time Warner certainly could have made sense if the two companies weren't kept in silos with management fighting each other at every step of the way. The "content" side ended up with too much power, trying to continue the practice of charging each time someone wanted to view any bit of content, rather than having the internet side of the house point out the value in sharing and spreading information and content, and using that to open up additional revenue streams (such as access fees and advertising). It's now a classic case study of how not to merge companies, but that doesn't mean that it couldn't have been done much better.
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