Google Stake in AOL Could Be Offered to Public in 2008

Dec 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Google’s billion-dollar investment in Time Warner’s America Online allows the search-engine giant to require AOL to offer the Google stake to the public starting July 1, 2008, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The terms of Google’s purchase of 5 percent of AOL for $1 billion give the search-engine company certain rights, including the right to require that its interest in AOL be sold in an initial public offering. Time Warner submitted the filing Dec. 23.

On Dec. 20, Google agreed to make its investment in AOL as part of a deal that will strengthen the two companies’ advertising partnership.

Google will continue to provide search functions for various AOL Web sites, as it has done since 2002, when the two companies first began to work together. In addition, AOL will now sell search advertising directly to advertisers using Google’s search-results technology, which allows advertisers to display ads in relevant search results. AOL’s video service also will work closely with Google’s video service. The two companies also plan to enable their respective instant messaging to communicate with each other.