This article focuses on the fallout of the infamous AOL Time Warner merger. Even though it is a few years after the stock’s precipitous crash, the company is still having great difficulty reviving itself. Its stock price has stagnated for the past few years, and recently the financier Carl Icahn has been taking a more aggressive position in trying to get the company to divest itself of some assets to begin a large ($20 billion) stock repurchasing plan. A few months ago, rumor started spreading of a possible sale of AOL (or at least a portion of it) to another company. The most probably candidates were Google, Comcast, Microsoft, or Yahoo. This article focuses on the evolution of that process and gives an update that shows just how complicated these industry alliances can be. It should be noted that this deal would be larger than most joint-ventures that large media conglomerates work on together.
And the march to war continues. Who is this shareholder activist who regards media assets as nothing more than mere a commodity from which he hopes to realize outsized returns? Moreover, as a minority shareholder (along with his allies, he has but 2.9% of the common stock), what kind of aplomb must he have in order to (subtlety?) threaten the management of the largest media conglomerate in the word?