Saturday, December 17, 2005

Time Warner Enters Into Talks With Google

Time Warner Inc. ended talks with Microsoft Corp. Friday and entered into exclusive negotiations with Google Inc. over a $1 billion investment and a broader advertising partnership with America Online, executives close to the talks said.

Shutting out Microsoft sets the stage for a high-profile agreement between two titans of the Internet. Under the deal, expected to be announced as early as next week, Google would get a 5 percent stake in AOL, implying a $20 billion value for the unit, said one official with direct knowledge of Time Warner's negotiating position.

Google, which operates the Internet's dominant search tools, also agreed to highlight AOL's Web properties as sponsored links and integrate AOL's video clips in its fledgling Google Video service. In exchange, AOL will continue providing Google's search engine to its subscribers.

Microsoft and The Associated Press last month announced plans for an advertising-supported online video news network early in 2006. Microsoft will supply the technology, video player and advertising support to the network, while AP's broadcast division will provide the video, which will feature about 50 different stories per day. [via Chicago Tribune]

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