Microsoft May Buy AOL Stake

A published report said Microsoft is the front-runner in discussions aimed at buying a stake in Time Warner's America Online unit, but whether any deal actually happens remains in question.

The New York Times reports a number of questions could hold up or derail the discussions.

The report said while Microsoft approached AOL several months ago to discuss joint ventures, any agreement is still weeks away.

Last week, Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard Parsons acknowledged the talks, but also sought to downplay expectations.

The report said Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, told the Times last week that his interest in AOL involves the hope to get a higher profile in advertising.