Those AOL-Yahoo deal rumors you’ve probably forgotten about? They’re apparently still a possibility, with anonymous sources saying that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has been meeting with shareholders over the past couple of weeks to try and sell the idea of a buyout of the onetime online giant.
Yahoo has been downplaying the possibility of a deal with AOL, with its own rumormongering surrounding either the possibility of selling sections of the company off to a variety of bidders or else relaunching key parts of the company to draw new customers and rebuild the brand for the future. The brand-rebuilding strategy has been punctuated by both a partnership with ABC News and Yahoo! Screen having been launched at the start of the month. But according to sources, Armstrong has been quietly working on pushing the idea of an AOL-Yahoo alliance.
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Sources say Armstrong believes that an AOL/Yahoo merger would result in $1 billion in savings for the companies by eliminating duplicate services and sites, and it’s an argument that seems to be winning many shareholders over—especially as many of AOL’s shareholders are also currently shareholders in Yahoo!, as well.
But considering the less than stellar reactions to previous AOL partnerships, whether they’re with Time Warner or the Huffington Post, it’ll be interesting to see if the third time would be the charm for AOL’s partnership prospects—or if this is yet another case of corporate sound and fury signifying a new logo, a lot of analysis, but little else.
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Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.