Following yesterday's announcement of an MSN and Yahoo Messenger integration, Google and Comcast are considering an investment in Time Warner's AOL. Google's search engine already powers AOL's search function in its browsers. The deal would not only strengthen the relationship between Google and AOL but also disrupt the talks between AOL and Microsoft for a similar arrangement. An AOL-Microsoft agreement would threaten Google because AOL already has its search function, which it claims is its biggest source of revenue. Comcast's interest in the investment is in marketing its high-speed cable Internet service to AOL's large but shrinking base of dial-up customers.
Microsoft and Yahoo's deal to integrate their instant messaging platforms yesterday is now seen as a retaliatory move in anticipation of the possible Google-Comcast investment. The MSN, Yahoo Messenger deal would result in 49.2 million IM users, making it a potential contender for AOL's top spot with 51.5 million in the US.
For more on the Google, Comcast deal with AOL:
- check out this article from The Washington Post