Skip to comments.Final farewell to worst deal in history - AOL-Time Warner
Posted on 11/21/2009 8:22:46 PM PST by bruinbirdman
AOL and Time Warner have finally called it quits. James Quinn looks at the souring of the dotcom match that appeared to have been made in mergers and acquisitions heaven
It was an auspicious occasion, the business titans of the West standing shoulder to shoulder at the dawn of a new century. On the stage of the Shanghai International Convention Centre, in late September 1999, the crème de la crème of business achievement smiled at the hundreds of delegates, both Chinese and from around the world, who had gathered for the Fortune Global Forum.
From AIG's Hank Greenberg to Viacom's Sumner Redstone, from Yahoo!'s Jerry Yang to General Electric's Jack Welch, the three-day gathering was a veritable who's who of corporate America.
Among the high-powered throng were two other men, perhaps less well known to the crowd. Gerald "Jerry" Levin, chairman of Time Warner, the media giant which had been formed 10 years earlier from the $14bn (£8.4bn) combination of Time Inc and Warner Communications; and Steve Case, chairman of AOL, the dotcom darling which had effortlessly swallowed Netscape for $4.2bn just months earlier.
It was at this rather grand gathering that the first seed was sown. Case pulled Merv Adelson, a long-time Time Warner board member, to one side, and asked him whether Time Warner's board had thought about merging with AOL. Adelson went straight to Levin, who shrugged and initially dismissed the suggestion. But within three months after a series of clandestine meetings in New York and Boston and a dinner at Case's home the two men announced the $360bn combination of AOL Time Warner on January 10 2000.
One of the world's biggest media content companies was to merge with one of the largest distributors of internet content a
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I remember when AOL was charging 24.95/month for dialup when all the upstarts were charging 10.00/month, and the cheap service was just as fast and reliable, in my experience.
Good riddance .
I am looking forward to seeing the unemployed hard core leftists that formerly worked at AOL News ( aka Obaam AOL News ) !
AOL still charges $24.95 a month for dialup.
AOL was one of the shiite=itist companies every invented. I can remember being on the phone with AOL customer service about their crummy service and got a call on my other line from their sales about getting an account. I quite literally put them together on a conference to explain to me how they could be signing up more clients in my area when the servers were completely overloaded.
I have a couple of clients that have AOL.
They won’t leave due to fear and stupidity - and they believe they need to keep their AOL email address... which is probably going away soon anyway.
I’ve never used AOL, even back in the late 1990s when they were popular. I always used a local dial-up.
i once decided to keep every AOL promotional sign-up CD that came my way; through the mail, at computer store check-outs, at booths, etc. I never passed an opportunity. Before I tossed them, I had close to 50. Them things was ubiquitous!
It is amazing, isn't it? Few things in life say "I'm just stupid" more than "@aol.com". With the notable exception, of course, of "I'm a Democrat".
Every company was better than AOL for connecting to the internet.
I predicted that this merger would suck and I was proven right within 2 years. Its been dragging on since then.
I got at least six months free out of them. They used to give out those free trial months all the time. Once, when I called to cancel, they gave me several months’ free extension. They must have been desperate for customers. All the wildcat providers were undercutting them big time.
My father had to cancel his credit card to keep them from continuing to charge him. After 6 months, that seemed to be the easiest option.
Back in ancient times, we used to ban *!*@*.aol.com from IRC channels and servers to cut down on visitors from the Army Of Lamers.
I know I'm dating myself, but I used to collect the AOL 3-1/2" disks, unlock them, and use them to record my own files. Saved me $.50 to $1.00 each!
We'll talk about the Radio Shack audio cassettes I first used on my RS Model 1 in another thread... LOL!
They started out as Quantum Link (?), designed for the Commodore Computer. They then split into several components Commodore, Apple and PC. Eventually they merged into a common link for all computers as an access to the Internet. Our first and, at the time, our only access to the Internet. Then they got greedy, the rest is history.
Yes, but if you have a pre-existing plan it’s still $24.95.
There are still people out there with AOL accounts paying $49.95 a month.
It wasn’t the worst deal in history if you owned AOL stock!
Some of them have been attempting to cancel for over 5 years. ;)
..................i once decided to keep every AOL promotional sign-up CD that came my way; through the mail, at computer store check-outs, at booths, etc. I never passed an opportunity. Before I tossed them, I had close to 50.................
Yeah! I was living on the waterfront at the time, and I’d string up the AOL CD’s on fishing line above my dock, to mirror swirl in the wind.
Totally awesome for keeping seagull and Commorant droppings off my dock! Worked like a charm!
I made three million on a $25,000 investment. Thank you Steve.
AOL screwed me and my bank.
I tried to cancel like 5 times i guess i was finaly canceled when my bank at the time canceled me because of them.
Thats how they got me every time i called to quiit.
6 months free, a few times.
Then i forgot about them and didn’t care anymore.
Yep. AOL 3 1/2 inch disks came in pretty handy.
I think I've convinced most of my clients to quit paying AOL, but still have a few I can't convince to quit using the AOL client to read their email.
Also, still have clients that refuse to quit using the MSN browser to read their email and browse the web, and I even have one client who is paying Compuserve for the privilege of keeping their Compuserve email, which requires exclusive use of Compuserve client software. I have to admit I was stunned to find out Compuserve was still in business!
Back in the day, AOL was imbedded in Windows (still?). I used it to go online to order another ISP.
I do remember that AOL used to ban certain (many) links. Because they didn't advertise with AOL?
And it was a devil deleting AOL.
And they had their own browser? And certain modems only worked with AOL?Never a good experience with AOL. Course that was when? Mid nineties?
I hated aol. Good riddance.
I remember when AOL was charging an hourly rate for connections, and I was spending a lot more than $24.59 per month. AOL was the first major ISP to switch to unlimited usage for a monthly fee, and the second to offer Internet e-mail. It was the first ISP to have a reasonably good user interface. In many rural areas of the country, AOL was the most economical choice, and it may still be in a few areas. The broadband era doomed AOL, but they deserve a lot of credit for being a pioneer during the dial-up age. They gave a lot of people their first experience on the Internet.
Um... I was using a local ISP when AOL announced that they would allow internet email.
I’d had an internet email address with that ISP for two years. AOL was far, far behind on internet email, not second.
Also, AOL technically wasn’t an ISP at the time, as initially, their client software wouldn’t allow other internet applications. They were an online service, but not an internet service provider. They grudgingly and slowly opened up access.
AOL was anything but a pioneer. Most of what AOL did had been done by others such as CompuServe years before.
I was a CompuServe customer and loved it, one day I got a disk in the mail called AOL (ver.1.0 I believe)
I installed it and booted it up. My mom was visiting and I showed her the interface and she was able to navigate because all you had to do was point and click with the mouse. She had never used a computer before yet she could get around on AOL CompuServe you had to type where you wanted to go.
I called my stockbroker and told him to sell all my stocks and buy as much AOL as he could get. He said: "No I've studied this and CompuServe has the market locked-up." (IIRC AOL at the time was trading at about 8 bucks a share) So I didn't buy it :(
That taught me a valuable lesson. Stockbrokers are glorified sales clerks and don't know shite!
Nobody said AOL wasn’t easy to use... but it wasn’t a real ISP.
The other thing was that at the time, Compuserve offered a GUI (before AOL did) but it wasn’t as easy to use. Prodigy actually had a better interface early on. Once again, AOL trailed.
>>>They started out as Quantum Link (?), designed for the Commodore Computer.
Yes before there was AoL, there was Q-Link. I was there on my Commodore 64. The service wasn’t even available until about 6 pm, and was turned off about 8 am. Until my Commodore died it was a great place. Way ahead of its time with the Casino section and the Club Caribe avitar world.
We even invented the Age/Sex checks. I apologize for that. At the time it seemed funny.
It was something like a penny a minute, which doesn’t seem like much but boy it added up. Fortunately before long I was given the secret of the “backdoor” link by a Quantum rep who liked me, that allowed me to be online for free.
You were fortunate to live in a locality where regular ISP service was available. In many parts of the country, Delphi was the first and only national Internet service available, but it was hobbled with a crude terminal interface. AOL followed Delphi, starting with e-mail, FTP and Usenet, and it was a revolution for most of the country.
I subscribed to timeshare services like "The Source" back in the late Seventies. Compuserve killed them a few years later. I remember Prodigy too, it was awful. Before those things, a Telex machine was the most popular way to get online - if you could get access to one.
"As one of the top bankers who worked on the deal told me, trying to merge AOL with Time Warner was 'like trying to mate a horse with a dog'."
They're talking about your friends on this thread.
Ah, the good old days when we were all internet newbies! If we knew then what we know now...
I used to call it Internet For Dummies.
I’m pretty sure that AOL is the one part of the internet that Al Gore DID invent.
Go light on the turkey...