When: 11/24/98 (day of merge)
AOL purchased Netscape Communications Corp. The purchase was an exchnge of AOL shares for $4.2 billion of Netscape stock. The deal involved AOL's acquisition of Netscape's site online and its software business and also a partnership between AOL and Sun Microsystems to strengthen Netscape's other business of selling server and other internet technologies software to large corporations. Netscape was beginning to lose ground against Microsoft in the browser market, and it has a much better chance for survival as part of larger companies. AOL has 14 million paid subscribers, and Netscape gets about 20 million visits per month to its page. The merger will also be beneficial to Sun's programming language Java, which will get better distribution. This merger coincided with Microsoft's anti-trust lawsuit. The merger strengthened two of Microsoft's competitors, but on the other hand the merger was the end of the independent existence of Netscape, which was itself threatening to Microsoft.