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19:58

A tech-industry punchline: can AOL and Yahoo come back to life?

Businessweek :: Shortly after the news broke that Yahoo! had ousted Chief Executive Carol Bartz on Sept. 6, Tim Armstrong’s phone began ringing. According to people with knowledge of the calls who were not authorized to speak on the record, the AOL CEO spoke several times that day with bankers who wanted to reopen talks begun in 2010 about merging the two companies under Armstrong’s leadership. The logic: By combining the companies’ content and audience, the former Google executive could extract better ad rates and build a more profitable business.

It’s a terrific idea—if you’re Armstrong or a fee-seeking investment banker. But the idea of merging these struggling Internet icons has become a tech-industry punchline.

Continue to read Peter Burrows, www.businessweek.com

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