I argue today that when it comes to the battle for AOL, Microsoft may want to win more even more than rival bidder Google. (link.) Just a few months ago, Time Warner was still living down the disgrace of the AOL merger, often ranked among the worst deals in history. Investors led by Carl Icahn were pressing for a spin off of Time Warner assets. But now the hand of Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons is gaining strength. The economics of the Time Warner deal may never be justified, but the rising value of AOL's Internet advertising may help recast the perception of this controversial corporate marriage.

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