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Lies, Damn Lies, Statistics and the AOL-Time Warner Merger

The received media history of this deal is straightforward: The media thinks AOL wrecked Time Warner. The truth is exactly the opposite. Charts don't lie. And getting history right matters, lest we repeat it. Why hash this out after all these years? Because history matters. Because it's important to get history right, lest we repeat it.

The always interesting Henry Blodget's recent posts on the AOL-Time Warner merger disaster are worth reading, if not for the reason you might think. The received media history of this deal is straightforward: The media thinks Time Warner vastly overpaid for AOL and should cut its losses. The truth is that AOL, which was the acquiring party, vastly overpaid for Time Warner. But I agree with Blodget -- and, if published reports are right, with former AOL CEO Steve Case -- that the merger should be unraveled.

On Aug. 2, however, Time Warner will unveil the latest AOL strategy that's expected to stop short of a breakup. Unfortunately, this all probably happens too late for AOL to once again become a truly first-tier independent Net company.