Disney on AOL – “NO” comment

March 12, 2008

iger.jpgNot that anyone was suspicious, but in case you’re wondering Disney isn’t buying AOL .

Iger blurted that out in response to BusinessWeek editor John Byrne’s question on stage at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit in New York on Wednesday.

Byrne: “Can we expect Disney to make another big acquisition? Would you think about AOL for example?”

“No,” Iger jumped in, drawing some chuckles in the audience. “We don’t want to comment on specific acquisitions, although I just did.”

“We have a very strong balance sheet, cash flow is strong and we will buy something if we feel it will add value. We have the wherewithal to do that, but it’s not a necessity.”

In case there was any doubt in the audience, Iger didn’t comment one last time: “If I were to poll this audience, they’d come to the same conclusion: Disney is not going to buy AOL.”

That’s the kind of “no comment” I appreciate.

(Photo: Reuters)

2 comments

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Given the fact that it has the world’s most famous search engine as well as a set of powerful personal connections to AOL’s parent, Google could potentially be one of the potential buyers being courted. There are a number of personal connections between the leadership of Time Warner and Google. First, Time Warner Director Frank J Caufield has a strong personal connection to former Vice President Al Gore, who is a Senior Advisor to Google. Caufield is a founding partner of the Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), and Mr Gore recently joined the firm as a Partner. Second, Time Warner Director James L Barksdale also has strong personal connections to Google Director and KPCB Partner John Doerr. His specific connection to Barksdale, however, is through their service as members of the Board of Directors for Liberty Media LLC, Home Corp, and Tellme Networks, which was purchased by Microsoft in May 2007.

Or so they say..but as time goes on it seems more and more likely..I wonder how Disney would handle advertising AOL?