Once considered two of the top ISPs, AOL and Yahoo have both been somewhat stagnant for years. While Yahoo’s new CEO, Carol Bartz, has managed to stabalize Yahoo’s profits by cutting costs, they are far from out of the woods. Despite AOL’s market value – at just $2.7 billion – being only 13 percent of Yahoo’s, AOL is said to be exploring various arrangements that could see it buying Yahoo or, at least, merging with Yahoo.
While Internet pundits have mostly been saying “WTF?” about the alleged possible arrangement, analysts are even more succinct.
Observed Erik Schonfeld, of TechCrunch, “While Yahoo and AOL are distracted with firing people and integrating business units and backend technologies for at least two years, the Internet will continue to move ahead without them.”
“AOL is still huffing and puffing as a tiny player in a world of giants,” said Kara Swisher, of AllThingsD.com.
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Securities analyst Steve Weinstein, with Pacific Crest Securities, was even more sanguine. “Operationally that does nothing, that’s just moving the pieces around the board,” observes Weinstein.
So let us add our opinion to the mix. AOL and Yahoo both have great strengths – still. It’s possible that individually they cannot overcome the weight of apathy that the Internet generally has for each, and that by picking and choosing the best from each, a new entity could rise Phoenix-like from the still-smoldering ashes of those once-hot Internet properties.
But, in our experience, it’s unlikely that this is how such a joining would play out. Large corporate bodies are usually both too bloated, and too moribund, to pull off harvesting still-vital organs for transplanting into a younger, more viable body.
Which tells us that it is likely there will be at least one, maybe two, Internet funerals to attend within, we predict, the next 10 years.
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