MindSpring's founder and CEO Charles Brewer will chair the joint company, to be called EarthLink, but EarthLink's head exec Garry Betty keep the title of CEO. MindSpring's Brewer specifically targeted AOL's leadership in announcing the merger: "Our mission is become the leading ISP in the world... Customers didn't know they had an alternative... Now they do."
At Wednesday's closing stock prices the new company will be worth more than $3 billion, or roughly $1,000 for each of three million customers accessing the Internet through EarthLink and MindSpring. Those three million users are only a fraction of AOL's more than 18 million accounts, which are valued by today's stock market around $5,000 each. This kind of bigger-is-better logic from Internet investors undoubtedly helped get the two fierce competitors together. MORE >>