A QUESTION OF RISK. Goldman insists that the AOL Europe deal was nothing like the furtive Enron barge transaction. One big difference, says Goldman's van Praag, is that the transaction was not secret. While AOL never disclosed the deal formally, he says, it did broach the subject with several investment banks. It was widely reported that Bertelsmann was planning to get out of the AOL Europe joint venture, awaiting a 2002 change in German tax law. And, van Praag adds, the arrangement was reviewed by Goldman's in-house and outside lawyers.