The deal between Google and AOL, which would see Google purchase 5% of AOL for $1bn and was reported earlier in the week, has been officially announced.
While many details of the deal are vague, leaving plenty of leeway to expand the deal or otherwise, the nub of the story is in the positioning of Google between Microsoft and AOL. As late as Sunday Microsoft were still in advanced negotions with AOL over the same deal but AOL appears to have picked Google ahead of the Redmond based company.
The fact that AOL and Google already have working partnerships would have helped Google immensely. For AOL's part they will be able to sell Google's related ads on services such as AOL Properties, currently all advertising enquiries and revenue on AOL's branded Google search portal go to Google.
Google will get Google Talk (their new instant messaging service) access in to AIM allowing it to talk to the AIM network which also includes services such as iChat.