(1) At the completion of the merger AOL shareholders owned 55% of the new company and Time Warner shareholders owned 44% even though the revenue of Time Warner was almost 4x that of AOL and EBITA of Time Warner was larger than the entire revenue of AOL.† How do we justify this distribution of equity?† Do feel that it was justified and why?
(2) Experts often say that the key to success for any acquisition is integration of the entities to create one new cohesive whole.† What types of cultural issues do the companies have to deal with?† Given these challenges how would you proceed?
(3) AOL built its reputation by providing ďcontentĒ in addition to online access and then rigorously policed the content and interaction with members.† In fact, in many ways AOL was an island of its own online.† How had the market already begun to change at the time of the merger?† How would these broader changes impact AOLís model?† How would they impact the value of the acquisition?
(4) At the time of the acquisition AOL (and CompuServe) served about 30 million users.† Explore and explain the issues associated with moving this volume of users to new platform(s)/technology or making new services available to them?
(5) How many free trial access disks/CDís have you personally received from AOLís marketing efforts over the last 10 years?