Time Warner, Microsoft talk of joint AOL-MSN search project

Time Warner and Microsoft are discussing the possibility of combining some aspects of America Online and MSN to become a larger force in Internet search and search-based advertising.
No deal is imminent, said two executives with direct knowledge of the talks, who declined to speak for attribution because discussions are still fluid. It could evolve into a strategic alliance or joint venture, with Microsoft taking a stake in AOL.The companies declined comment. But industry analysts said, if consummated, the deal could shake up the world of Internet search. Stakes are high in paid search, the practice of aligning topical ads with objective search results. Paid search has become a $6 billion to $10 billion a year business, with 90% of that revenue split roughly equally between Google and Yahoo, says Chris Sherman, editor of trade newsletter SearchDay. Neither company discloses paid search revenue. For more click here.