Douglas Rushkoff :The AOL and Time Warner merger was doomed from the start
Typically sane piece by someone who really understands the Net. Excerpt:
“When AOL bought Time Warner, the New York Times asked me to write a comment piece. “What does it all mean?” my assigning editor asked.
What I wrote was that AOL’s purchase of Time Warner heralded the end of the dotcom bubble. AOL was cashing in its casino chips. And just like the gambler who trades in his coloured plastic disks for real cash, AOL’s Steve Case understood that his run was over and that it was time to trade in his stock certificates for those of a company that had genuine assets.
The New York Times refused to run the piece. They told me I was misreading the landscape to such an extent that for them to publish such a view would be irresponsible. See, all the experts – at least all the experts the Times was listening to – believed that the AOL purchase of Time Warner indicated “new” media’s domination of “old” media. Interactivity would take over. Time Warner’s only hope of getting in the game was to be absorbed by a new media company. ..”