The 2000 And 2015 AOL Merger Press Releases: compare And contrast

For Time Warner, merging with AOL was a $350 billion wager on a synergistic future that never panned out.

may just 12, 2015 

In a tech merger that best counts as a medium-sized whoop with the aid of present requirements, Verizon is acquiring AOL for $four.four billion. The news shouldn’t strike anyone as an out-of-left-container stunner: Bloomberg suggested that the 2 firms were discussing this sort of deal back in January.

And but the Twittersphere blew up this morning with chatter by way of people who gave the impression shocked, in lots of instances, to be desirous about AOL at all. a few of them riffed on iconic components of the company’s past, reminiscent of these unavoidable trial-device CD-ROMs. however the very first thing I thought of once I heard the news was once a 15-year-outdated press unencumber.

That could be the press unencumber issued through AOL and Time Warner on January 10, 2000, once they announced their $350 billion merger. The transaction created a would-be 21st-century media powerhouse eager about everything from offering internet get entry to to creating films to working cable television channels to publishing magazines to owning Yogi endure.

The 2000 press liberate quoted Time Warner president Richard Parsons: “this is a defining experience for Time Warner and the us online in addition to a pivotal moment in the unfolding of the internet age.” Which turned out to be entirely genuine…just no longer because of any of the aspirations of synergistic grandeur which caused the merger. the whole thing became out to be this type of disaster that AOL Time Warner dropped the “AOL” from its title in 2003, as if to fake that it had by no means took place. In 2009, it spun off AOL right into a public firm.

looking again at the 2000 liberate, a number of the advantages it outlines are naturally bad ideas from a special technology. movie passes for AOL subscribers! AOL discs within the “standard” Warner Bros. Studio outlets! content material from something known as Entertaindom on AOL! These plans started out falling apart almost the second the deal used to be final: for example, Entertaindom shut down two weeks later, and the Warner Bros. retailers had been shuttered in 2001.

A decade and a half of later, it can be value evaluating the 2000 press unlock with the one Verizon just issued about its acquisition. apart from 2.1 million last dial-up customers, these days’s AOL has little in well-liked with the behemoth it was once at the flip of the century. The buzzwords are all completely different—note the new one’s point out of quickly-to-sound-quaint acronyms akin to “IoT” and “OTT.” And the 2015 free up is far shorter than the 2000 one, especially while you subtract the prolonged boilerplate disclaimers at the bottom.

however the documents have one thing in common: they’re interesting snapshots, each and every displaying where the tech industry concept it was once headed at a selected moment in time.

[picture Sources: Flickr customers Jason Persse, and Eric Hauser]

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