Time Warner, Microsoft near ad deal: WSJ

Time Warner Inc is closing in on a deal with Microsoft Corp. to team up on an online advertising service to compete with Google Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the talks.The paper said the two companies were now focusing on a deal that would combine their advertising-related assets, with little or no money changing hands.
It said they expected to reach an agreement before the end of the year, but that it was still possible that Time Warner’s America Online unit could strike a deal with competitor Google instead.Time Warner has been holding talks with both Microsoft and Google over AOL, sources familiar with the situation have told Reuters and other media.
Sources familiar with the matter had said that Time Warner’s initial discussions included the possible sale of a stake in the Internet unit, but recent media reports said that the two likely buyers may be backing away from such an investment in favor of smaller-scale partnerships with AOL. For more visit here.