AOL and MSN Eye Joint Venture

19 September 2005

The spirit of cooperation among major media brands appears to be flourishing.

Among the latest pairings said to be in talks are internet portals America Online, owned by Time Warner, and MSN, property of Microsoft.

The New York Post newspaper - fount of speculation that Viacom and Comcast are in discussions about a joint cable venture [WAMN: 15-Sept-05] - reports that MSN is ready to buy a stake in AOL.

According to unnamed sources, the two would establish a combined advertising sales force and enable users of their separate instant messaging services to communicate with one another. The move would come at a time when the messaging market is developing quickly and expanding into new areas like voice over internet telephony, or VoIP.

The source adds: "Senior management at both companies are considering whether they could create more value from their internet properties by working together."

Neither side has commented.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff