30 Apr

NTL + AOL, where is

NTL + AOL, where is MSN?
Instead of just picking up the Reuters story, why don’t other news outlets investigate further? Since Microsoft invested $500 million in NTL (or 5.25% of the company, according to SEC filings), it might be interesting to get their opinion on this. Their investment was only recently approved by the EC, but its value was reduced by 50% since it was inked (looking at today’s share price). France Telecom – an ISP and consumer portal through its subsidiary Wanadoo – has also a stake in NTL.
It seems AOL Europe, which is getting out of its deals with Bertelsmann (and Vivendi Universal in France), will still have to partner with competitors, such as Cegetel or NTL, to increase its presence as an ISP. Since Bertelsmann (involved in Terra Lycos Europe) and VU are shuffling collaborations, and are working with Yahoo! too, the landscape is more complex every day. It looks like everyone is now putting eggs in everyone else’s basket and is letting the market sort out what works and what doesn’t. I’m not sure it’s possible to draw a 2D map of these deals at this point.

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