A recent research report from Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen speculating that either or both AOL and Yahoo could be heading toward an acquisition in 2007. One possibility she put forth is a merger between the two:
“We believe there are several trends that could push either AOL or Yahoo towards a major transaction, with each other or with another competitor,” Reif Cohen wrote. “Although not without its problems, we believe that an AOL-Yahoo combination is one of the more logical combinations in this arena.”
Another option as an acquirer for either company would be Microsoft, according to Reif Cohen.
The report points out that the Google/AOL relationship struck in December 2005 includes a “change in control” clause for AOL that would allow an acquirer, such as Microsoft or Yahoo, to replace Google’s ads on AOL with their own.
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