Finally… Staci Kramer addresses this:
Merrill also highlights this tidbit: “our understanding is that AOL’s current contract with Google has a change in control clause that would allow either [Microsoft] or Yahoo! to move its traffic onto their platforms.”
It’s not like the information was not available to the public, it’s that Paid Content took the time and effort to dig it up. We had previously thrown out our doubts about a possible AOL/Yahoo! deal due to the current ownership structure and the potential option Google might have (should have) asked for to match any offer after agreeing to a $20B valuation for AOL when it plunked down $1B for 5% of AOL.
And if that’s not enough, some more numbers and implications here.
YHOO vs. TWX vs. GOOG 1-yr chart: