Why Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! are fighting over AOL

AS MORE and more of the world's business is conducted online, a battle royal is taking shape. The struggle is to decide which company will become the primary gateway to the internet. Three firms, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, are aiming to establish the world's leading internet portal—the site that most internet users rely on for everything from searching the web to sending e-mail and catching up on the news. All three firms are hoping to strike some sort of deal with AOL—the fourth player in the battle of the portals.

It is highly convenient for Time Warner, the world's biggest media company, that its struggling web portal, AOL, is suddenly at the receiving end of competing bids from all three of the other internet giants. Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, was the first to start haggling, via its portal, MSN. Then Google, the world's most popular search engine and nowadays Microsoft's archest arch-enemy, came running, with Comcast, America's biggest cable company, as a prospective co-bidder. And now Yahoo!, the biggest web portal and determined runner-up to Google in internet search, has also entered the bidding. The internet | The battle of the portals | Economist.com

Linked by shanmuga Saturday, 22nd October 2005 2:13AM