Possible AOL deal with Microsoft or Yahoo imminent

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New York—Talk of a possible AOL deal is heating up, with Time Warner reportedly in discussions with both Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo. Reuters indicated these discussions have become more time-sensitive particularly for Yahoo, which rebuffed Microsoft for the second time just days ago and needs to convince shareholders it can grow without the software giant.

Yahoo’s shareholders meeting is scheduled for Aug. 1, with an imminent proxy battle with activist investor Carl Icahn looking to unseat CEO Jerry Yang and replace the Yahoo board.

A Yahoo deal would probably mean merging AOL with the Web portal, with a minority stake retained by Time Warner, while a deal with Microsoft would more likely take the form of an outright sale of AOL, the reports said.

—Carol Krol

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