Earlier this month at the Sun Valley conference, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer were spotted at a bar together. The rumor mill went into overdrive with speculation that Yahoo might purchase AOL. As an early investor in Alibaba, they'd certainly have the money to do so in the near future once that company goes public.
So, would it make sense to combine the two Internet pioneers? It depends on who you ask.
According to a report from Kara Swisher at Re/Code, Armstrong would love to sell his company to Yahoo as he thinks the two are very similar. Mayer, however, doesn't seem convinced.
Swisher said Mayer believes the deal is small, unexciting, uninspiring and backwards-looking. Based on the name alone and the history tied to it, that may not be too far off base. But AOL has much more than a brand name to offer.
In addition to revenue from the dial-up business (apparently that's still a thing), AOL owns several other media brands including Engadget, Huffington Post and Tech Crunch. Oh, and there's also the ad technology that Yahoo would likely be able to use.
Given AOL's market cap of $3.2 billion, the Internet pioneer would likely have to pay around $4 billion for the acquisition. There would be some obvious overlapping and cost-savings but as Mayer said, it may not be very forward-looking.