Say That Again

by Mike Masnick




How Many Times Must Steve Case Apologize?

from the and-how-often-will-it-be-misinterpreted dept

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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  1. identicon
    Joe Smith, 25 Jul 2006 @ 11:04am

    Exit strategy

    The AOL / Time Warner merger was a brilliant move by Steve case which hugely benefited the AOL shareholders.

    You have to recognize that the merger was an exit strategy for AOL. They used vastly over priced shares in a dot com bubble company to buy a substantial stake in real company with real assets.

    That the company could have been better run after the merger than it was does not take awary from the brilliance of the original move.

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