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Washington Post: AOL in Talks to Buy Redhat

Jan 19, 2002, 07:16 (127 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alec Klein)

[ Thanks to Doug Bostrom for this link. ]

"AOL Time Warner Inc. is in talks to buy Red Hat Inc., a prominent distributor of a computer operating system, an acquisition that would position the media giant to challenge arch rival Microsoft Corp., according to sources familiar with the matter.

Red Hat, a publicly traded firm based in Durham, N.C., sells products and services based on the Linux operating system, the freely available software developed collaboratively by volunteers. Linux is designed for a wide variety of gear, running corporate computer servers and consumer devices such as personal computers, cell phones and video games.

The Red Hat negotiations â€"which are still fluid â€" are the latest indication that AOL Time Warner, the world's largest media company, is looking for alternatives to software made by Microsoft, whose Windows operating system runs 90 percent of the world's PCs. The longtime competitors have fought over an array of rival consumer technologies lately, including online subscription services, instant-messaging systems and Web-based video and audio players."

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