by Mike Masnick

Is The Advertising Just A Head Fake In The Google/AOL Deal?

from the look-thataway dept

With so much talk leading up to the Google/AOL deal it hardly seemed worth mentioning that the two sides finally made it official last night. The analysis had been going on for days already, so it didn't seem like there was much to add. However, while most people (including us) were focused on the advertising aspects of the deal, Om Malik is suggesting that's all a way for Google and AOL to distract everyone from the real keys to the deal: voice and video. These are two parts of the deal that haven't received nearly as much attention, but Om thinks they're the important ones. First, Google's disappointing GTalk will most likely be allowed to interoperate with AOL's AIM, as a way of fighting back against Yahoo and Microsoft's decision to let their instant messaging programs interoperate. Considering the relative positions of the two IM platforms in the market, that definitely helps Google -- and could catapult them into the IM/softphone VoIP wars. Also, AOL and Google will be working together on video offerings, an area that Google has been trying to beef up lately -- and with access (potentially) to Time Warner content, it could make Google's video offering much more attractive. As usual from Om, these are excellent points worth thinking about. The big question, though, is how this actually plays out. AOL and Time Warner have shown an amazing knack for totally messing up any attempt at smart synergistic moves. The company just gets too political and worries about how doing the right thing harms a legacy business. It would be great if they really do more with voice, text and video -- but it seems likely that they'll stall a lot and put too many limitations in place. Google's 5% ownership, $1 billion in cash and $300 million in free ads probably won't be enough to convince AOL to act any smarter.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Jeremiah, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 12:54pm

    Dark Google

    We've already discussed the stated intent of telcos to begin charging higher fees to customers like Google, Yahoo. While we may disagree with their tactics, *they're* the ones with mountains of paid access to lawmakers, not us (meaning they'll probably get their way.)

    Google probably sees the light (pun intended) and that's why they've been buying their own infrastructure.

    Just thinking out loud.....

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Landon, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 1:31pm

    No Subject Given

    I am just afraid that since Google and AOL have partnered up, or so it seems, the partnership will continue to grow. This is what I am afraid of. Since Aol is older than Google, I am concerned that Google will start taking more and more advice from AOL (such as the picture ads thing). The thing that im afraid of though is that this will cause Google to go down hill.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Daniel DeZago, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 1:42pm

    another angle...

    I recently read another angle on the whole Google/AOL situation. There are rumors of AOL going public which would put Google in an amazing place to turn a profit that I think could out do any kind of performance boost or deal that there is with AOL right now. Yes there are some interesting technical possibilities but if the rumor mill is turning in the right direction there is way more in pure profit to be made.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Chad, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 1:45pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Don't worry too much about Google, those genius boys will continue to grow as always. Now if only they would hurry and come out with their own OS. =P

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Ben McNelly, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 2:47pm


    I dont know about you, but anytime I see a computer with AOL, one thing comes to mind... FDISK AND FOMAT!!!

    AOL is impossible to "delete" off of your computer and it is inately evil to boot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    haggie, Dec 21st, 2005 @ 4:21pm

    No Subject Given

    Partnering with AOL is about as intelligent as trying to graft a gangrenous leg to an otherwise healthy body. Yeah, you can say you've got both feet now, but how long before the whole body gets sick?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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