I'm trying to imagine a case where it wouldn't have happened; after all, if it weren't AOL discovering they could get something for nothing and charge for it, someone else would have come along.
Maybe in an alternate universe out there somewhere the guys who came up with TOR realized that their cybersnooping would never be as effective as if they served up free webhosting to everyone and the whole of the Internet moved to NSA iron under the aegis of the National Endowment for the Arts or something. I was in college at the time and we all put our shit on .edu metal but that couldn't last forever, either.
Somebody was going to piss in the punchbowl. It just happened to be AOL.