AOL: The Emergence of an Internet Media Company

By Robert Burgelman, Philip Meza
2003 | Case No. SM75 | Length 48 pgs.
AOL has evolved from an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to control a wide variety of Internet and media assets including vast content arms (e.g. Time Magazine), broadcasters (e.g. CNN) and cable systems. The business models sustaining many of AOL Time Warner’s assets are fundamentally different from that of an ISP. Similarly, the skill sets needed to manage the conglomeration are very diverse. Was it necessary to bring these assets under one firm? How can AOL Time Warner incorporate these assets to create something greater than if ownership of the two companies stayed separate?
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