2000 AOL–TimeWarner merger

‘Worst [merger] of all was the merger in January 2000 of Time Warner, a media giant with 70,000 staff and revenues of $27 billion, with AOL, an internet firm whose 12,000 employees generated less than $5 billion. To symbolise their devotion to power-sharing, Steve Case, boss of new-economy AOL, wore a tie to the press conference celebrating the deal while Gerald Levin, boss of old-economy Time Warner, turned up without one. Months later the dotcom bubble burst, making a fool of Mr Levin, who announced his retirement in December 2001. In 2009 AOL was spun off. Jeff Bewkes, Time Warner’s current boss, calls the merger the “biggest mistake in corporate history”,,’ (Schumpeter: Love on the rocks–The romance of a merger of equals rarely lasts long,’ The Economist May 17th 2014, p.61).

See Il Palazzone