A History of AOL, as Told in Its Own Old Press Releases

Big moments, little triumphs, and odd sidelights in the life of a 25-year-old online service.

By  |  Monday, May 24, 2010 at 3:16 am

In retrospect, most of AOL’s big acquisitions turned out to be bad news for everyone involved. (As a CompuServe user, my heart sunk when I first heard that this one was happening.) AOL drove the CompuServe service into the ground in short order, but continues to operate it as a zombie to this day: The current CompuServe site is so archaic that it brags about supporting Microsoft’s latest OS…Windows XP.


DULLES, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 8, 1997–America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) today announced that, in exchange for its ANS Communications, Inc. subsidiary, it will acquire CompuServe Corp.’s worldwide online services business from WorldCom, Inc. and receive $175 million in cash.

Upon completion of the transaction, valued in total at approximately $425 million, AOL’s European partner Bertelsmann AG will pay an additional $75 million to AOL, and each company will invest $25 million in an expanded joint venture to operate CompuServe’s European online service.

AOL also entered into a long-term strategic relationship with WorldCom providing AOL with significantly expanded network capacity for its service at favorable prices. This includes agreements with WorldCom that will not only allow AOL to expand its current narrowband access at a faster pace, but also will have the companies collaborating on the deployment of a next-generation broadband network. Further strengthening their alliance, AOL Chairman and CEO Steve Case is expected to join WorldCom’s board of directors.

In separate announcements today, WorldCom, CompuServe and H&R Block Inc. disclosed their agreement under which WorldCom will acquire all of CompuServe Corporation, thereby facilitating this transaction with AOL.

AOL said the WorldCom and Bertelsmann agreements will:

Accelerate AOL’s momentum in the global marketplace, especially in Europe; Strengthen its position in the small business and professional markets; Grow its non-subscription revenue streams through an increased customer base; Enable it to focus on its core assets – AOL Networks and AOL Studios – while providing added financial resources and operational flexibility to grow and enhance those businesses; Enhance the AOL member experience through the short-term addition of up to 100,000 modems from UUNET, long-term network commitments from WorldCom, and access to CompuServe’s business and professional content; Improve the CompuServe online customer experience by supporting next-generation technological innovations now under development by CompuServe, and exploring possibilities for leveraging AOL’s easy-to-use features and products; Realize immediately the enhanced value of ANS – which it acquired in 1995 for $35 million, while ensuring reliable network services through WorldCom at favorable prices.

Mr. Case stated: “AOL has made tremendous strides forward over the past year and this transaction will boost our momentum by concentrating our focus on AOL’s core interactive services and content businesses. In addition, the acquisition of CompuServe’s interactive services will help fuel our global expansion – especially in the critical European marketplace, which we believe is poised for tremendous growth. The expansion of our international reach will help make the interactive medium a global phenomenon and provide us with new opportunities to apply our scale, expertise and resources. Both AOL and CompuServe online customers will benefit as we enhance their interactive experiences, providing unmatched ease-of-use and expanded content to meet their needs.”

Mr. Case added: “The transfer of ANS to WorldCom will allow us to realize significant value for an asset which, for the past 2-1/2 years, has been an important part of our successful effort to build out AOLnet with a diversified portfolio of suppliers. As part of WorldCom, ANS will be a strengthened supplier of dial-up and Internet access to AOL Networks. For AOL, the agreement locks in network price savings while partnering us with a company that can help assure our members the broadest, most reliable access, now and in the future.

“We also look forward to working with the talented employees of the CompuServe online services and welcoming them to the AOL family.”

John Sidgmore, WorldCom Vice Chairman and Chief Operations Officer, and UUNET CEO, said: “We are very pleased to be acquiring ANS, a pioneer of the Internet and now one of the world’s leading corporate network services companies. With our long-term agreement with America Online, we also are looking forward to helping meet the rapidly growing network capacity needs of the world’s leading Internet online service and working together to develop next-generation broadband solutions. We also look forward to welcoming Steve Case to our board of directors where we believe his expertise and vision will be a most valuable addition.”

The Combined Internet Online Services

CompuServe’s interactive division currently has 2.6 million members worldwide. On Sept. 2, 1997, AOL announced its own global membership had surpassed 9 million.

In Europe, the partnership between AOL and Bertelsmann will become the leading pan-European Internet online service provider less than two years after launching its service. The addition of CompuServe’s over 850,000 online customers to AOL Europe’s nearly 700,000 members would result in a combined total of more than 1.5 million. The merger would extend the AOL-Bertelsmann partnership’s existing reach in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden, and give the partnership access to a number of markets now served by CompuServe’s Internet online services.

Beyond the U.S. and European operations, AOL would add over 300,000 CompuServe online members in the rest of the world including Japan, where AOL launched its own service in April, and Canada, where AOL has over 100,000 members. CompuServe’s online division also has services in Asia, Latin America and Australia.

Bob Pittman, President and CEO of AOL Networks, said: “At AOL Networks, the Internet online business is our only business and we are positioned to provide the best service possible to CompuServe’s online customers and provide the best possible home to CompuServe’s interactive division employees. We will use AOL Networks’ scale, resources and expertise to make the combined operations more focused and efficient. In addition, our larger membership base will help us develop more online advertising and commerce revenue streams, which, in turn, allows us to continue to bring our members the best content and features available anywhere online.

“We will continue CompuServe’s existing online brand and focus on small business and the professional-oriented user here and internationally, by providing the existing service with the existing platform. In addition, we will seek ways to use the relative strengths of CompuServe’s on-line services in the business and professional markets and AOL in the mass market to improve the Internet online experience for both sets of customers,” Mr. Pittman concluded.

Thomas Middelhoff, who is a member of the Executive Board and designated Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann AG, said: “This transaction further strengthens the strategic alliance between Bertelsmann and America Online. We will continue to grow our AOL membership in Europe and to develop CompuServe’s online services as a significant independent brand in the European Internet online market.

“This transaction will help position us as the leading player in the rapidly growing European Internet online service market, and help build a new mass medium in interactive services,” concluded Middelhoff, who also is a member of the America Online board of directors.

Expansion of AOL’s Network Access

AOL Networks will continue to manage AOLnet – the world’s largest dial-up network-through a portfolio strategy that now includes WorldCom’s UUNET, in addition to GTE/BBN and Sprint. From this team of providers, AOL expects to have access to approximately 650,000 modems by year’s end – more than triple its modem capacity of January 1997.

Mr. Bruce Bond, President and CEO of ANS Communications, said: “ANS has made great strides as part of AOL and we look forward to future success as part of WorldCom. Not only will ANS continue to supply network capacity to AOL, but it will be an excellent strategic fit with UUNET and CompuServe’s corporate network services to help make WorldCom a more significant worldwide provider of corporate network services.”

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and approval by CompuServe shareholders, is expected to close within six months.

At risk of repeating myself, I’d like to say that as a Netscape user, my heart sunk when I heard this merger was happening. Would the story of Netscape have had a happier ending if AOL hadn’t horned in? Maybe, maybe not. In this release, Steve Case specifically lauds Netscape for de-emphasizing its namesake Web browser–a strategic blunder that turns out to have been the beginning of the end.


DULLES, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Nov. 24, 1998–America Online, Inc. (NYSE:AOL) Tuesday announced that it will acquire Netscape Communications Corporation (NASDAQ: NSCP) in a transaction that will extend America Online’s leadership in interactive services.

The stock-for-stock, pooling-of-interests transaction, in which stockholders of Netscape will receive 0.45 shares of AOL common stock for each share of Netscape common stock, is valued at $4.2 billion. It is expected to close in the spring of 1999, subject to various conditions including customary regulatory approvals and approval by Netscape’s shareholders. The Company said it expects the transaction will be slightly accretive to operating results. Netscape’s operations will remain based in Mountain View, CA.

Key benefits of the acquisition will be to:

— Advance America Online’s multiple-brand strategy with one of the Internet’s best known brands;

— Substantially broaden America Online’s global audience at home and at work, by adding the fast-growing Netscape Netcenter portal that is integrated with the Netscape browser used by millions of people;

— Accelerate the growth of e-commerce across the America Online and Netscape brands and provide added value to their business partners;

— Provide significant new opportunities to make America Online’s brands available anywhere to interactive consumers, as well as to maximize the value of these brands, by taking advantage of AOL’s existing shared infrastructure; and

— Expand the range of America Online products and services by adding world- class technology and an experienced development team that has demonstrated its ability to innovate rapidly.

Separately, America Online announced that it has entered into a strategic development and marketing alliance with Sun Microsystems, Inc. to enhance its delivery of e-commerce solutions that will help build revenues across America Online and Netscape brands, and offer added value to both America Online and Netscape business partners, as well as the growing number of major corporations planning to put their business on the Internet. The companies will develop easy-to-deploy, end-to-end solutions for e-commerce based on the best available technologies and expand their sales channels to include each other’s products and services.

The three-year America Online-Sun agreements also will increase distribution and development of Netscape’s enterprise software for corporate customers. The companies also will use Sun’s Java technology to offer AOL services on selected next-generation Internet devices, consistent with AOL’s “AOL Anywhere” strategy to extend its brand to all emerging mass market platforms. (See separate America Online-Sun Microsystems release.)

Most Popular and Diverse Family of Brands in Cyberspace

With Netscape joining its AOL, CompuServe, AOL.COM, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, and Digital City brands, America Online will operate the most popular and diverse family of brands in cyberspace.

Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of America Online, said: “The acquisition of Netscape is a big step forward for America Online that will greatly accelerate our business momentum. Netscape has played a key role in helping consumers benefit from the enormous power of the Internet, and we share the same mission. With Netscape, we will broaden our global audience at home and at work, and add world-class technology to support an expanded range of America Online interactive products and services.”

Mr. Case added: “The development of e-commerce is entering an exciting new stage. Increasingly, companies are seeing the power of the Internet as central to their business strategies and consumers are seeing the convenience of online shopping as central to their lives. Netscape’s highly regarded suite of e-commerce software, coupled with our strategic alliance with Sun, will help us drive e-commerce to a whole new level that will benefit both business partners and Internet consumers.”

Mr. Case continued: “We have been very impressed with how quickly Netscape has transformed its business — shifting its focus away from browsers and platforms and toward high-growth portal and e-commerce opportunities. We look forward to welcoming the Netscape team to our America Online family. Having known each other for many years, we know that together we can take the Internet to the next stage of its development. And as interactive services become more central to the daily lives of tens of millions of people, the promise of e-commerce becomes even more of a reality for consumers and businesses.”

Mr. Case concluded: “One key to this acquisition is the flexibility that it gives us. ICQ, our instant communications and chat portal, will promote the downloading and registration of the Netscape client software to its large and rapidly growing international community. We also expect to maintain our working relationship with Microsoft, continuing to include Internet Explorer in the AOL service so consumers will continue to have AOL software included on the Windows desktop.”

Bob Pittman, President and Chief Operating Officer of America Online, said: “Netscape has always been one of the best-known and most highly renowned Internet brands. Over the past year, Netscape has extended that brand into the portal space with Netscape Netcenter, and developed a truly differentiated portal by building useful links between the service and the Netscape client software and Netscape’s enterprise business. Although Netscape Netcenter is already one of the fastest-growing portals, we believe our existing shared infrastructure will enable us to efficiently expand its audience and build its revenue streams. With AOL, CompuServe, ICQ, Digital City and now Netscape Netcenter, we will offer an unparalleled array of interactive services to the full spectrum of Internet consumers as well as to our commerce and content partners.”

Mr. Pittman added: “America Online has made great progress over the past few years in taking e-commerce from promise to reality, but we’ve only scratched the surface in reaching its full potential. Our acquisition of Netscape and the alliance with Sun will allow us to accelerate our e-commerce efforts. We will add complementary, best of breed tools and platforms to speed the time to market for companies now wanting to enter e-commerce, as well as for those ready to scale their businesses further. This will be of enormous value to both America Online and Netscape commerce partners – both business-to-business and business-to-consumers – and provide even more convenience for Internet shoppers.”

The Company said Jim Barksdale, President and Chief Executive Officer of Netscape, will be joining America Online’s Board of Directors after the transaction closes.

Mr. Barksdale said: “America Online and Netscape share a common vision — to offer solutions that make it simple for businesses and consumers to participate fully in the Net Economy. The companies’ complementary strengths promise to accelerate the adoption of e-commerce and Internet applications worldwide. This exciting partnership enables us to deliver even better and more complete products and services to both existing and new customers.”

Netscape Brand Synonymous With Internet

The Netscape brand is virtually synonymous with the Internet, including such widely used products as Netscape’s browser, Netscape Netcenter, and Netscape’s suite of enterprise and e-commerce applications and software. America Online will be able to efficiently speed the development of Netscape’s products and services with its shared infrastructure, current advertising and commerce relationships, and ability to drive traffic from its other brands. In addition, the Netscape portal will offer connections to other America Online brands to maximize utility for customers and its value to the Company.

Launched in June, Netscape Netcenter is one of the Internet’s fastest growing portals worldwide in registrations, traffic and software downloads. Netscape Netcenter now has more than 9 million registered members. Since June, daily traffic has increased by 50%. In the most recent quarter, worldwide downloads exceeded 24 million, fueled in part by the release of both new beta and final versions of its browser software.

In addition, Netscape has announced plans to enhance Netscape Netcenter with the recent acquisitions of AtWeb Inc., to link more than 600,000 small- business Web sites to the portal, and NewHoo! Community Directory Project to provide comprehensive Internet directory service. Netscape also has introduced the “Netscape TuneUp for IE,” a free software add-on to Microsoft Internet Explorer that integrates Netscape’s popular Smart Browsing services while providing access to Netscape Netcenter services.

Netscape has transformed itself over the past year into a successful portal and enterprise/e-commerce software business. The Company currently offers a full suite of packaged applications for business-to-business and business-to- consumer Internet commerce, and award-winning Internet server software for building and hosting a variety of Internet applications. Netscape’s corporate customers using the Company’s e-commerce and infrastructure software suite include Ford, Lucent Technologies, Bell Canada, France Telecom, John Hancock and the US Department of Defense.

In July, Netscape introduced its newest browser, Communicator 4.5, designed to link Netscape Netcenter’s content and services with the browser’s ease-of-use advances – making it simpler for people to find what they want on the Internet and creating a persistent relationship with users that helps generate higher usage levels. This month, Netscape is introducing the Custom Portal to bring the power of consumer portals to business and government audiences, including Internet service providers and computer manufacturers. As part of its effort to drive more traffic to Netscape Netcenter, America Online said it plans to continue to develop the Communicator and pursue new distribution channels.

Unique Technology Solutions for E-Commerce Partners

The Company said its strategic alliance with Sun Microsystems will bring together America Online’s industry-leading consumer reach, Sun’s e-commerce hardware and operating system platforms, and Netscape’s complementary suite of e-commerce software. Together, the companies will be able to offer complete turnkey solutions along with modular software and consulting services to enable e-commerce partners to put their businesses online fast and scale quickly to meet consumer demand.

“The interactive marketplace is changing quickly, and it is clear that America Online is a leader in driving e-commerce forward,” said Scott McNealy, President, CEO and Chairman of Sun Microsystems. “We are incredibly excited about the opportunity to work closely with the world’s leading provider of branded interactive services and to integrate our full-range of products and services into the most comprehensive turnkey e-commerce solutions.”

Under the America Online-Sun alliance, both companies will sell products and services through each other’s sales channels and customer relationships to market their existing products and services, as well as their new e-commerce solutions. Sun’s large sales and service organizations will provide technical support for these products and services. The alliance also will bring new development and distribution opportunities for Netscape’s software and applications.

I’ve already annotated this historic press release. I wonder what the parties involved would do with the $164 billion that AOL paid for Time Warner if they had it back and could spend it in some other fashion? (Hey, how much would it have cost for AOL to acquire Comcast instead a decade ago?)

America Online and Time Warner Will Merge to Create World’s First Internet-age Media and Communications Company.

DULLES, Va. and NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–January 10, 2000

AOL Time Warner Will Be Premier Global Company Delivering Branded Information, Entertainment and Communications Across Rapidly Converging Media Platforms and Changing Technology

Will Provide Far-Reaching Benefits to Consumers By Speeding Growth of Interactive Medium

Will Accelerate Availability of Broadband Interactive Services Offering Vast Array of World-Class Content

Will Drive Growth of Advertising and E-Commerce Across Unmatched Combination of Leading Brands

Companies Also Announce New Marketing, Commerce, Content and Promotional Agreements

America Online, Inc. [NYSE:AOL] and Time Warner Inc. [NYSE:TWX] today announced a strategic merger of equals to create the world’s first fully integrated media and communications company for the Internet Century in an all-stock combination valued at $350 billion.

To be named AOL Time Warner Inc. with combined revenues of over $30 billion, this unique new enterprise will be the premier global company delivering branded information, entertainment and communications services across rapidly converging media platforms.

The merger will combine Time Warner’s vast array of world-class media, entertainment and news brands and its technologically advanced broadband delivery systems with America Online’s extensive Internet franchises, technology and infrastructure, including the world’s premier consumer online brands, the largest community in cyberspace, and unmatched e-commerce capabilities. AOL Time Warner’s unparalleled resources of creative and journalistic talent, technology assets and expertise, and management experience will enable the new company to dramatically enhance consumers’ access to the broadest selection of high-quality content and interactive services.

By merging the world’s leading Internet and media companies, AOL Time Warner will be uniquely positioned to speed the development of the interactive medium and the growth of all its businesses. The new company will provide an important new broadband distribution platform for America Online’s interactive services and drive subscriber growth through cross-marketing with Time Warner’s pre-eminent brands.

AOL Time Warner’s brands will include AOL, Time, CNN, CompuServe, Warner Bros., Netscape, Sports Illustrated, People, HBO, ICQ, AOL Instant Messenger, AOL MovieFone, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Digital City, Warner Music Group, Spinner, Winamp, Fortune, AOL.COM, Entertainment Weekly, and Looney Tunes. In addition to fully integrating its brands into a digital environment and bringing them closer to consumers, AOL Time Warner will have a wealth of creative resources to develop products specifically suited to interactive media.

Under the terms of a definitive merger agreement approved by unanimous votes at meetings of each company’s board of directors, Time Warner and America Online stock will be converted to AOL Time Warner stock at fixed exchange ratios. The Time Warner shareholders will receive 1.5 shares of AOL Time Warner for each share of Time Warner stock they own. America Online shareholders will receive one share of AOL Time Warner stock for each share of America Online stock they own. The merger will be effected on a tax-free basis to shareholders. When complete, America Online’s shareholders will own approximately 55% and Time Warner’s shareholders will own approximately 45% of the new company. The stock will be traded under the symbol AOL on the New York Stock Exchange.

The merger will be accounted for as a purchase transaction and is expected to be accretive to America Online’s cash earnings per share before the amortization of goodwill. This transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and the approval of America Online and Time Warner shareholders, and is expected to close by the end of the year. Mr. Ted Turner, Vice Chairman of Time Warner, has agreed to vote his Time Warner shares, representing approximately 9% of the company’s outstanding common stock, in favor of the merger.

Steve Case, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of America Online, will become Chairman of the Board of the new company. Gerald M. Levin, Time Warner’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will become AOL Time Warner’s Chief Executive Officer. As Chairman, Mr. Case will play an active role in helping to build and lead AOL Time Warner, focusing particularly on the technological developments and policy initiatives driving the global expansion of the interactive medium. As Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Levin will set the company’s strategy, working closely with Mr. Case, and will oversee the management of the company. Mr. Levin will report to the board consisting of 16 members, with eight appointed by each of the current America Online and Time Warner boards.

Mr. Turner will become Vice Chairman of AOL Time Warner. Time Warner President Richard Parsons and America Online President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Pittman will be co-Chief Operating Officers of AOL Time Warner. J. Michael Kelly, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of America Online, will become the new company’s Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. A four-person integration committee, composed of Messrs. Pittman; Parsons; Kenneth J. Novack, America Online’s Vice Chairman; and Richard Bressler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Warner Digital Media, has been formed to ensure a smooth and rapid combination of the two companies. The Committee will make its recommendations to Messrs. Case and Levin. Messrs. Parsons, Pittman and Kelly will report to Mr. Levin.

Building a New Medium for the New Millennium

Mr. Case said: “This is an historic moment in which new media has truly come of age. We’ve always said that America Online’s mission is to make the Internet as central to people’s lives as the telephone and television, and even more valuable, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to turn this promise into reality. We’re kicking off the new century with a unique new company that has unparalleled assets and the ability to have a profoundly positive impact on society. By joining forces with Time Warner, we will fundamentally change the way people get information, communicate with others, buy products and are entertained – providing far-reaching benefits to our customers and shareholders.

Mr. Case added: “We have tremendous respect for Jerry Levin and Time Warner management, who have built the world’s pre-eminent media company and have fostered an entrepreneurial culture that will mesh well with our own. Time Warner is the first major media company to not only recognize, but also fully embrace the interactive medium. I look forward to working with them to build the most valued and respected company in the world. By mobilizing the combined creative energies and extraordinary management talent of both companies, we will bring customers around the world an unmatched array of interactive services, with enriched multi-media content and e-commerce opportunities.”

Mr. Levin said: “This strategic combination with AOL accelerates the digital transformation of Time Warner by giving our creative and content businesses the widest possible canvas. The digital revolution has already begun to create unprecedented and instantaneous access to every form of media and to unleash immense possibilities for economic growth, human understanding and creative expression. AOL Time Warner will lead this transformation, improving the lives of consumers worldwide.”

Mr. Levin added: “I look forward to partnering with Steve Case – a visionary leader of the Internet – and his impressive management team. The opportunities are limitless for everyone connected to AOL Time Warner – shareholders, consumers, advertisers, the creative and talented people who drive our success, and the global audiences we serve.”

Mr. Pittman said: “The value of this merger lies not only in what it is today but in what it will be in the future. We believe that AOL Time Warner will provide companies worldwide with a convenient, one-stop way to put advertising and commerce online as well as take advantage of the best in traditional marketing. We will accelerate the development of Time Warner’s cable broadband assets by bringing AOL’s hallmark ease-of-use to this platform. We expect America Online to help drive the growth of cable broadband audiences, and we will use our combined infrastructure and cross-promotional strengths to enhance the growth and development of both America Online and Time Warner brands around the world.”

Mr. Parsons said: “This is a defining event for Time Warner and America Online as well as a pivotal moment in the unfolding of the Internet age. By joining the resources and talents of these two highly creative companies, we can accelerate the development and deployment of a whole new generation of interactive services and content. The heightened competition and expanded choices this will bring about will be of great benefit to consumers. For the creative and innovative people who are the lifeblood of our companies, it means a truly exciting range of new opportunities to explore and give shape to. For our shareholders, it means we’ll be able to grow in ways we couldn’t have as separate companies, producing superior returns in both the short and long term.”

New Marketing, Commerce, Content and Promotional Agreements

Separate from the merger transaction, America Online and Time Warner also announced new marketing, commerce, content and promotional agreements that will immediately expand various relationships already in place between the two companies. These include:

— The AOL service will feature Time Warner’s popular InStyle magazine, expanding on the popular content Time Warner already offers AOL members from People, Teen People, Entertainment Weekly and other content currently on the service.

— CNN.com and Entertaindom.com programming will be featured prominently on various America Online services.

— AOL members will have access to a wide range of Time Warner promotional music clips from Time Warner’s unparalleled selection of popular artists.

— Time Warner and AOL MovieFone will participate in online-offline cross-promotion of Time Warner movies and related content, including live events.

— Broadband CNN news content will be distributed on AOL Plus, the rich media content offering designed for AOL members connecting via broadband, when it launches this spring.

— Time Warner will offer a number of special offers exclusively for AOL members, which will include everything from discounts on magazine subscriptions to premium cable subscriptions and movie

— Building on the companies’ current offline cross-promotional activities, including keywords on popular magazines like People and Teen People, Time Warner will dramatically expand cross-promotion of AOL in a number of their top offline media properties.

— The popular Warner Bros. retail stores will promote the AOL service, including through the in-store distribution of AOL disks.

— Time Warner will include AOL disks in promotional mailings and product shipments.

— America Online will make available on Road Runner popular America Online brands and products, including AOL Instant Messenger, Digital City, AOL Search and AOL MovieFone.

The companies also said, with respect to broadband access, that AOL Time Warner will be committed to ensuring consumer choice of ISPs and content and that they hope this merger will persuade all companies operating broadband platforms to provide consumers with real choice.

Combination Creates Full Range of Growth Opportunities

In addition to today’s announcements, America Online and Time Warner will have many other opportunities to combine their assets to create unique new expanded services to drive increased consumer usage, and marketing and promotion capabilities to fuel rapid growth for their shareholders and employees. These, among others, include:

Music: The combination of Time Warner’s prestigious music labels and roster of established stars and new artists with America Online’s online marketing and e-commerce capacities will create powerful music destinations.

Entertainment: America Online’s AOL TV and MovieFone combined with Time Warner’s cable networks and Warner Bros. movies and television will provide valuable programming, cross-promotional, and e-commerce opportunities.

Broadband: AOL Time Warner’s ability to offer the finest content will expand the already growing number of consumers seeking to access the Internet at high speeds via cable modem, DSL, wireless or satellite.

News: AOL Time Warner will continue to enhance its online news offering with the world’s most recognized and respected news media, including CNN, Time, and local all-news channels such as NY1 News.

Technology: AOL Time Warner will be able to develop and leverage technology across all of the businesses, creating new opportunities to expand services and share infrastructure.

Telephony: For businesses and consumers, AOL Time Warner will offer a major communications platform that combines America Online’s popular instant messaging products with Time Warner’s ability to offer local telephony over cable.

In the mood to read one more AOL press release? Take a look at the one from last December in which the company announces that it’s once again an independent outfit. Then come back here and share your AOL memories–whether they’re fond, painful, or a little bit of both.




9 Comments For This Post

  1. Hamranhansenhansen Says:

    Wow, even “mouse” is in quotation marks in the 1990 PR for PC’s. Of course, PC’s didn’t come with a mouse as standard for a few years after that.

    1990 is the year the Web was created, but it only ran on NeXT systems until 1991 or 1992.

  2. ecco6t9 Says:

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  3. joe Says:


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