AOL signs advertising pact with Verizon

Time Warner's AOL unit has landed one of its biggest advertising deals since its restructuring, as sole representative of Verizon Communications's online advertising inventory.

A Reuters report pointed out the irony of the timing: last week Verizon sued Time Warner Cable accusing it of false advertising concerning Verizon's FiOS Internet and TV service.

The agreement, an AOL executive said, comes amid Time Warner's ongoing talks to combine AOL with Yahoo to save Yahoo from Microsoft's hostile bid.

The Verizon deal is viewed as a coup for AOL's Platform-A advertising unit, as deal makers at Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL jostle to take a bigger stake in the business of selling online display advertisements.

Reports of Time Warner's discussions to combine Yahoo and AOL value AOL at about US$10 billion (€6.27 billion), excluding its dial-up Internet access business.

That is a far cry from the zero value ascribed to AOL within Time Warner's current valuation, according to analysts' estimates.

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