AOL was long seen as merely a declining cash-cow dial-up business in a broadband world, but with the explosion of Net searches in recent years, the company's Web sites have become a crucial property. The bidding for a stake or ad partnership with AOL drew not only Google and Microsoft but also their chief rival on the Web, Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report), and fetched AOL an imputed value of $20 billion.The big players' quest for scale puts also-rans like Ask Jeeves in an even tighter spot. Recent numbers show just how tough a crowd this is.
Diller Asks Jeeves to Grow
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