Now this is only a rumor, and to be perfectly honest, not one I really believe.  However, TechCrunch, which is owned by AOL, is reporting that Microsoft is considering buying Winamp & Shoutcast.  Winamp is media playing software for Windows and Android devices that AOL picked up through its $80 million acquisition of Nullsoft in 1999.  Nullsoft also developed Shoutcast which is a cross platform propriety streaming media software. AOL is currently in the process of shutting down both Winamp and Shoutcast.  With the increasing popularity of Spotify, Pandora, ITunes, etc is seems to make little sense that Microsoft would want either piece of software.  Spotify recently raised $250 million valuing the company around ~$4 billion, greater than AOL’s entire market cap.  However, it is important to remember Microsoft did buy over a billion dollars in patents from AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and then proceeded to sell some of them ...

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AOL, Inc., today announced that it has completed the previously announced $1.056 billion patent transaction with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) (“Microsoft”). The transaction includes the sale of over 800 patents and their related patent applications, and grants Microsoft a non-exclusive license to its retained patent portfolio for aggregate proceeds of $1.056 billion in cash. “The closing of this transaction represents another major step for AOL in increasing value for our shareholders,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and CEO. “As our track record has shown, you should expect us to continue our momentum of creating and unlocking shareholder value through continued operational improvements and executing on our strategy.” As a part of the transaction AOL also received a license to the patents being sold to Microsoft. AOL continues to hold a significant patent portfolio of over 300 patents and patent applications spanning core and strategic technologies, including advertising, search, content generation/management, social ...

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Yahool, AOL and Microsoft are to pool their “Class 2 display”  ad inventory from their respective web properties and allow the other members to sell this to advertisers. The deal will give each member greater capacity to sell to advertisers and deal with large orders internally, rather than having to farm these out to 3rd party ad networks. Yahoo Americas head Ross Levinsohn  revealed the deal on behalf of Yahoo at a dinner meeting last night, with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong attended as well as Microsoft Advertising COO Dave O’Hara. The deal appears to be targeted at Google, currently the largest display advertiser, and should give each member greater scale than they would have had individually. Microsoft already has a search deal with Yahoo, and the two has been slowly eating into Google US search share, which is down 6.5% year on year so far. Read more at AllThingsD.com ...

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