It seems that AOL wants to merge with Yahoo, but that the feeling is not mutual.
The chatter stems from a Bloomberg piece, which cites "two people familiar with the matter" as saying that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong is taking with advisors to Yahoo to gauge interest in combining companies. The report says:
Armstrong is discussing options for a combination aimed at strengthening the two Internet companies, said the people, who wouldn’t be identified because the talks aren’t public. He has talked with private equity firms and investment bankers from Allen & Co. working with Yahoo, one person said.
Armstrong had been interested in a merger with Yahoo last year and was rebuffed while Bartz was at the helm, one person said. Her departure prompted him to reconsider the option, and, under one scenario now being considered, Yahoo would acquire AOL and Armstrong would become CEO of the combined company, the person said.
CNBC reported via a tweet, that a "source close to Yahoo" says there's no interest on Yahoo's side:
The whole thing comes at a very interesting time for both companies. Yahoo just ousted CEO Carol Bartz, and AOL is dealing with a huge PR firestorm over the whole TechCrunch debacle. AOL's TechCrunch, by the way, says the discussions are happening, but "it's not clear how serious they are."
I wonder if Yahoo is taking Business Insider's offer any more seriously.
AOL and Yahoo have both become pretty big media empires, and despite all the turbulence surrounding Bartz, Yahoo's brand seems to still be in pretty good shape.
Yahoo also just hired CNET editor-in-chief Scott Ard to run its US home page, which the company says is the most visited page in the country.
Would Aol and Yahoo make a good fit? Tell us what you think.