Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Is it time to short AOL?

Author:Jacob Levy
Posted:8/7/1999; 5:33:10 PM
Topic:Is it time to short AOL?
Msg #:9261 (In response to 9256)
Prev/Next:9260 / 9262

I just was shocked at the way that AOL is treating their *own* clients in this spat. How dare they disconnect their clients' conversations just because the outside user is using the enemy's software? Can you imagine Sprint PCS disconnecting a phone conversation coming into their network through a Cellular One subscriber? It is self destructive of AOL to engage in this kind of game and indicative of a very wrong mind set, IMHO. AFAIK the instant chat feature of AOL is their crown jewels, why risk aggravating their cash cow?

Anyways, others have raised interesting points about AOL branded devices that would lock in the user to AOL's service (sideways discussion: why do they think their users will fall for that kind of ploy, or do they think their users are newbies who don't know better?), and the fact that people don't easily give up their settings and environment. All true, but I'm still wondering:

Does AOL have a strategy for preserving and enhancing the value proposition for their clients -- both users and stock holders? Methinks they are royally mistreating their users, and the point of mentioning the $180 million was exactly what people pointed out -- why now, for a measly amount of money that's not even giving a good yield, provoke a huge fight on all fronts with the biggest competitor? I also think that this represents a very bad treatment for their investors.

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