Google has sold its shares of America Online back to Time Warner. The search company bought five percent of AOL back in 2005 for a billion dollars. Google is getting back only $283 million. That's a $700 million loss, folks. Ouch.
Lest you feel too badly for Google, keep in mind: The search giant likely bought up part of AOL to expand its reach, and that seems to have worked out pretty well for the company over the last four or five years. I just assume that Google knows what it's doing...Of course, it could be that Google made a dumb decision a few years ago by dropping a billion dollars on a company that was obviously not going to fare well in the future.
Speaking of the future: Time Warner is spinning AOL into a separate company, and America Online plans to continue running its web brands and services, as well as its advertising business and its internet subscription services. Believe it or not, AOL still offers internet subscriptions!
Either way, who remembers those CDs AOL used to send to every single person on the entire planet? I do. I think I still have a couple dozen of them in my house. Someday, they'll be collector's items, when people are nostalgic for the internet failures of the past!