If you though that the AOL-Time Warner was a disaster, you should prepare for things to become much worse.
AOL allegedly is looking to retreat from the European market because the company is unable to keep up the competition with local powerhouses including Deutsche Telecom and France Telecom.
How the mighty empire has crumbled.
AOL merged with Time Warner in 2000 in a deal that was valued at $120bn.
European regulators weren't happy. AOL and German publishing juggernaut Bertelsmann had jointly built out an internet provider business under the Compuserve and AOL Europe brands. Being that Bertelsmann at the time was the world's fourth largest publishing company, an AOL-Time Warner-Bertelsmann alliance had "monopoly" written all over it. AOL ended up paying $8bn to buy Bertelsmann out of the joint venture.
The deal at the time was ridiculed but in hindsight the sale was one of the best business decisions of the internet bubble era, and an enourmous waste of money for AOL.
AOL in the mean time has withered and has come to represent the internet 1.0 of the dial up generation. Ending the European adventures further strengthens that image.
Revolutions tend to make victims. But few people in 1999 could have predicted that AOL would be one of them.
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