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The content deal comes right on the heels of America Online’s buy-back of Bertelsmann’s 50% stake in AOL Europe and AOL Australia, providing the acquisition-hungry Germans with as much as $8.25 billion in cash or in AOL stock.
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AOL has formed an alliance with Bertelsmann AG wherein the media giant will provide the world’s largest online service with content in a deal valued at $250 million by AOL.

As a result, Bertelsmann becomes a "preferred provider" of content, while content-devouring AOL gets a steady stream of stuff from the German company’s music, book and magazine areas. Under the new arrangement, existing deals remain in place. New ones will assuredly be launched as well.

The content deal comes right on the heels of America Online’s buy-back of Bertelsmann’s 50% stake in AOL Europe and AOL Australia, providing the acquisition-hungry Germans with as much as $8.25 billion in cash or in AOL stock.

Bertelsmann’s unloading of its AOL holdings became all but inevitable when the AOL/Time Warner deal was announced in January, leading to the resignation soon thereafter of Bertelsmann boss Thomas Middelhoff from the AOL board. At the same time, the notion that fierce competitors can still be involved in mutually beneficial business arrangements is another wacky aspect of how 21st century big business operates.

Middlehoff couldn't be reached for comment, as he was busy in the "Kinky Aryan Tycoons" chatroom.

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