Just four years ago Google made a big splash in the Internet space by buying a 5% stake in AOL for $1 billion. Do the math and that placed the valuation of the company at around $20 billion. The fall of AOL from an Internet powerhouse to a “will they ever be influential again?” story is one that Google now knows all to well. Bloomberg reports today that on July 8th Time Warner bought that 5% share back from Google for $273 million. The valuation of AOL is now placed at $5.66 billion. What a difference a few years makes, huh?
Google wrote off $726 million of that investment last year so the pain of the misstep is mostly in the past. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t sting, however.