Take a look at BusinessWeek’s fascinating summary of the events that led up to the Google/AOL deal.
It’s interesting to note that while billionaire Time Warner investor Carl Icahn is calling the Google deal a bad thing for those looking to see AOL broken-up and sold, he was the one pushing for the deal instead of one with Microsoft.
Microsoft and Time Warner had been discussing a joint venture that would have tethered the companies’ fortunes more deeply. Had that deal gone through, it would have been harder to peel AOL away from its parent. Icahn was pushing Time Warner in the direction of Google, according to a person close to the discussions. By the morning of Dec. 16, Time Warner execs notified their Microsoft counterparts that they were entering exclusive talks with Google.