RealTime IT News

AOL Foresees Clear Sailing for Merger

America Online Inc. is so confident that its merger with Time Warner will be acceptable to regulators that it does not have a contingency plan, according to Paul Corvino, senior vice president and general manager of Interactive Marketing for AOL.

Corvino spoke Monday at the ADWEEK Forum during Internet World Fall 2000 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. (For complete show coverage, click on internet.com's official site for Fall 2000 Internet World.)

"We're just working on the assumption that this merger is going through," Corvino said.

He said the companies are anticipating the go-ahead from U.S. regulators in the next few weeks. European officials approved the merger several weeks ago.

This merger has gone better than expected," Corvino said, adding that while regulators have talked about some concessions the two companies may have to make, none of the concessions have been too onerous.

"We're certain this deal is going to go through," he said. "This whole thing is going a lot better than any of us ever dreamed."

He said the two companies have made strong in-roads as far as creating a single strategy for going forward. The first step was tactical he said, finding simple synergies between the two media giants. He said placing Sports Illustrated on AOL's welcome screen -- thus driving traffic to the magazine's site -- was an example.

He said the next step is strategic, sharing resources to create a better product for consumers and advertisers. The final stage is transformation.

"It's no longer advertising," he said. "The question is how do we turn it into a total marketing solution."