America Online and Microsoft Corp. are in talks about packaging the software giant's audio and video streaming software with AOL's Web service.
An AOL spokesman declined comment on a The Wall Street Journal report about discussions between the two companies. The spokesman indicated that AOL had no plans to disrupt its current multi-year pact with RealNetworks, which has been its exclusive streaming software provider. "RealNetworks is a good partner and we look forward to working with them," the spokesman said.
A deal between AOL and Microsoft would be a coup for Microsoft in its protracted battle for dominance in streaming technology with RealNetworks. It would also be an ironic twist, as AOL and MSN, Microsoft's Web service, remain intense rivals in that space. RealNetworks shares slipped more than 18%, or $2.42, to $10.65 in trading on Tuesday. - Richard Tedesco