AOL Time Warner: A Merger Gone Wrong

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTR047 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Mergers Acquisition and Takeovers
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 2000 - 2003
Organization : AOL Time Warner
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Media, Internet and Entertainment


The case discusses the problems that surfaced after the merger of AOL, one of the world's leading online service providers, with Time Warner, a leading media and communications company.

It first examines the rationale for the merger in terms of the synergies expected from the combination of traditional and new media. The case then discusses the various problems faced by AOL Time Warner following the merger such as cultural clashes, financial crisis, and a business downturn.

The case also discusses the restructuring initiatives taken by the company to set things right, and examines the future of AOL TW.


Examine the rationale for merging a traditional media company with an Internet company


  Page No.
An Unceremonious Departure 1
Background Note 2
Creating a Media Behemoth - The Merger 3
What Went Wrong 5
A Few Strategic Blunders 7
The Empire Starts Crumbling 8
Will Things Get All Right? 10
Exhibits 12


Problems, AOL, online service, Time Warner, media, communications, rationale, merger, synergies, problems, AOL Time Warner, merger, cultural clashes, financial crisis, business downturn, restructuring

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