AOL-TimeWarner .... The Marriage of the Damnedgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
If ever I have witnessed a marriage of pure desparation by two outfits that can only be described, with all charity, as MEDIOCRE at best in their respective fields.... then I'm completely at a loss.
Maybe even the bums on Wall St are beginning to realise this with the pounding aol stock has taken in the past 2 days ( yes! of course I was short - this is a no-brainer!) The blind leading the blind ! A marriage of incompetents! Keep it up... it's working out for me!!!
-- Hardly Amused (email@example.com), January 12, 2000
Maybe this will be the big 'Y2K' problem this year... companies who merge for no damn good reason at all. The hilarious thing was that either one or both CEO's danced around the usual benefits of a merger: "The synergies and cost-savings that can be achieved by eliminating duplicate business function". But these are two radically different corps, with little or no overlap (heaven help us if AOL gets Time Warner's billing department!). There are no synergies; and since AOL would no longer be a high-flying 'new-media' company, the stock gets valued like all the other old stocks do. It'll probably keep going down for a bit, maybe to 60.
-- Just (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 12, 2000.
Unfortunately (given my personal hopes for the Net), I believe the truth is somewhat more nuanced than this.
Fundamentally, this is a bet in two directions --
1. Investors will start insisting that dot coms show more connection to the world of values as they have been. By aligning itself with Time-Warner, AOL's stock may well take some continued short- and mid- term hits while proving more attractive long-term when/if the Net bubble bursts for the other dot coms.
2. They believe that the Net worldwide over the next few years can be partitioned into something like the major networks used to be on TV. That requires sheer bulk of capital, access and content. AOL gets "Loony Tunes". Time Warner gets Net "channels".
My guess is they will turn out to be partly right, though my hope is they'll end up looking much like Sony did when it tried to go Hollywood. They'll bleed money, move clumsily and be ugly. But, then, pay attention -- has that stopped AOL up to now?
If we're lucky, and we've still got a shot at it, the still somewhat uncontrollable tech forces underlying the Net will move quicker than the monsters of control can (completely) manage. For now, that means the explosion of ubiquitous computing devices, means for distributing the varying media that can be hosted by them and those producing the content. Cf digital video and digital movies (as well as digital music) for a hopeful example of the "new Internet" that is moving too fast for the radar of AOL-Time Warner ....
-- BigDog (BigDog@duffer.com), January 12, 2000.