Google confirms $1B investment in AOL
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December 21, 2005 Wednesday 6:38 AM EST
California-based Google Inc. has confirmed it will invest $1 billion for a 5 percent stake in America Online Inc. and strategic access to AOL content.
The partnership will enable "a global online advertising partnership," Google said late Tuesday, and "expands on the original relationship between the two companies launched three years ago."
The agreement between Google and the unit of Time Warner marks an apparent defeat for Microsoft Corp., which had actively sought a partnership with AOL. The deal also comes as investor Carl Icahn steps up pressure on Time Warner to boost shareholder value.
Google will become the only shareholder in AOL other than Time Warner, which will retain management control and full strategic flexibility over AOL, while Google will have certain customary minority shareholder rights.
Among those rights are those associated with any future sale or public offering of AOL. Additional financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.