Last month, we learned that AOL's CEO, ex-Googler Tim Armstrong, doesn't intend to blindly renew AOL's search deal with Google when it expires in December. Google doesn't appear ready to stand back and let Microsoft or some other company take its place, however.
Nicholas Carlson spoke to an unnamed source "close to Mountain View's headquarters," and this person indicated that the deal's considered to be of some importance. "Googlers are talking about plans to be to be 'aggressive' during negotiations," Carlson wrote.
Since the latest comScore numbers put AOL's share of the search market at 2.6 percent, that may come as something of a surprise. A mere 2.6 percent can't mean a whole lot to Google, which controls a share about 25 times that size (65.7 percent of the market, to be exact).
Still, a partnership with AOL represents an easy way for a search company to spread its tech, and since AOL users are older and perhaps hard to reach online (according to stereotypes, at least), Google may be all right cracking open its wallet a ways.
For reference's sake: Google has a market cap of $169.11 billion. AOL's market cap is closer to $2.5 billion.