Google Inc. is poised to pay US$1 billion for a 5 percent stake in Time Warner Inc.'s America Online Inc. unit, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon on its Web site, moments after also reporting that Google and AOL are in exclusive talks related to an advertising partnership.
The brief one sentence "breaking news" item on the Journal Web site was attributed to "people familiar with the situation." A more detailed story about the advertising partnership negotiations used the same attribution.
AOL has spent months reportedly in discussions with several companies over possible tie ups. At one time, Yahoo Inc. had been one of those companies, but it then dropped out, and recently AOL has been in discussions with Google and Microsoft Corp.
Google and AOL have a years-long relationship for AOL to carry paid search ads from the Google network, and split the revenue with the search engine giant.
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