CARLSBAD, CA — Here's Microsoft dealmaker Hank Vigil chatting up AOL COO Ron Grant over lunch at the D6 conference. Why is that interesting? Because we overheard Vigil gabbing away on his cell phone earlier today about the "economic terms" of some deal. Microsoft famously made a run at merging its online businesses with Time Warner's AOL a few years ago. As with its recent talks with Yahoo, Microsoft only succeeded at driving its target into Google's arms; Google has a search deal with AOL, and owns 5 percent of the company. Could AOL be an option once more for Microsoft? Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes is set to take the stage soon. While he's not likely to say anything about talks, it's a safe bet Vigil and Grant will be seeing more of each other.
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