Who will get AOL's swing vote? Ask Bambi...

It's been quiet so far this week on who (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google or...)?

It's been quiet so far this week on who (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google or...)? will end up giving Time Warner a large dowry for AOL, but Bambi Francisco is on the case. In her MarketWatch column today, Bambi suggests that Google and Comcast would be the most logical suitors, and backs it up. AOL generates about 10 percent of Google's revenue, and the Googlers wouldn't want to see that revenue go elsewhere. AOL also has more than 20 million subscribers, many of whom are ripe for broadband contracts (hello Comcast), and almost 50 million IM users. According to Bambi's article, AOL has almost double the IM users of MSN and Yahoo, and nearly 50 times more than Google. At the same time AOL is worried about Skype in the IM/IP telephony arena.

Will it come down to who wants to pay, or give, the most or does AOL/TW have a more synergistic plan in mind? AOL's domain is like the Louisiana Purchase (the 800,000 square miles cost about $15 million in 1803 dollars), except this time the sellers have a better idea of what it is really worth and don't need the funds to support military ventures. I would bet against' Bambi's pick, but Microsoft, in pursuit of Web-ness and with $40 billion in the bank, could just decide to make an offer that Time Warner's board couldn't refuse...


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