Here's a snippet from the Associated Press that lays out the AOL situation:
- Last week, Google sent a letter to Time Warner to trigger an escape clause in the Google-AOL contract. The provision requires New York-based Time Warner to either spin off Google's holdings in an initial public offering or buy back the stake at the current market value.
Google also wrote down its $500 million investment in Clearwire by $355 million on January 22. So could it be looking for a buyout on that, too?
Now, Clearwire and AOL are fairly different business propositions. Clearwire's promise lies in a future of wireless Internet anywhere, anytime, while AOL is still largely associated with desktop and dialup.
Still, its clear that it is going to be an uphill struggle for Clearwire to deploy WiMax in the U.S. and deliver on its mobility promise. (See Analyst: Clearwire Will Launch Nine in '09.)
So, I've asked Google spokespeople for further comment on the future of the Clearwire investment. I'll let you know what they say (if anything). — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung