... a Google joint venture may be short sighted in nature and may preclude
any consideration of a broader set of alternatives ...
I believe Google went out of its way to extend and expand the existing deal. AOL is getting the largest slice and Google is changing some fundamental things.
... we believe that eBay, followed by InterActive Corp would provide
greater incremental benefits to AOL´s option value ... (quoting Goldman Sachs research)
Valuing AOL at $20 bn is pretty much in line with market valuations. Besides, Google could get out at a future IPO. But yes, if you have a deal with one, you can´t have a deal with another. Further, assuming that AOL will not go the MSN way (pursuing Google and Yahoo! in building search technology and an advertiser network), this deal works fine for AOL.
I wonder what banking relations Goldman Sachs has.
MSN is the clear loser. Will Comcast step in, in order to present a smart way of luring the dial/up subscriber base into churning to Comcast broadband (or a rival cable operator´s HSD service)?