THE PROPOSED AMERICA ONLINE‐TIME WARNER MERGER—AT $165 BILLION, the largest in U.S. history, so far—may create the biggest media giant the world has ever seen, but that's not the real story. Forget the fact that pundits see the merger as a harbinger of increasing consolidation of media companies. Forget that the geeky new kid, AOL, grabbed a huge chunk of a relatively venerable firm, not the other way around. In fact, forget all the headlines you've read.
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