If it bothers you, then don't use their services.
For a few quid a year you can have a POP3 email account, with a name of your choice, no attatchment limits, a spam filter that actually works somewhere between 'General Von Klinkerhoffen' and 'Not At All', and no adverts.
The thing is, SOOOO many emails users are completely clueless and would continue to use AOL/Yahaoo because its all they know and dont want to change email addresses.
Trust me, I have some customers who wont switch over to firefox because it "looks different" so I keep coming back to their house every month removing all the spyware that gets right through IE.
Others have a REAL hard time dumping AOL for broadband and I need to sit there for 30 minutes convincing them of them the benifit of it.
Alot of the average users dont seem to care about things like this, either because they dont understand it, think it wont affect them, or as stated above, dont want to change their email addresses or service.
Also, this "fee" would charge people IF they wanted their email received by AOL/Yahoo members. Which leads to another interested point stated above: They say they are doing this to combat spam, but I have a feeling they will allow certain "spam" emails to get right through their filters and into the customer's inbox if the sender pays an extra "handling" fee.
So no matter what the customer does, the email would still go through the spam filter.
Lets not forget, that once companies like aol/yahoo do this, others will definitly follow suit, why? Because they would make MILLIONS (maybe even billions as the source says they handle 15billion emails per day).
Pretty soon you wont be able to find an ISP that does NOT charge for lettign their customer's receive email.
Once companies start making to much profit on this, the government will almost certainly step in and start creating a federal tax because so much revenue is being made. Heck, the government currently wants to charge tax for sales on Ebay and for selling "virtual goods" on online games that people sell for real money!
Once this fee (or eventually tax) is implimented, it can potentionally bring alot of services to a dead stop. PHPBB for example wont be able to pay to send out all of their notification emails becuase even if its only fractions of a cent per email charge, it would still cost way more then phpbb could handle (because they are a community driven site and dont have a standard "income" like companies, just revenue from sale of their mr bear etc).
Even companies that DO make money will have to stop their email services.
For example, secutina sends out probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of emails per day regarding new security alerts. Same with mcafee, symantec etc.
These companies would have to spend thousands upon thousands to send out all of those emails on a regular basis, most would simply stop doing it or charge the customers a fee.
Before long, its possible that you wont be able to get ANY sort of email notifications for anything unless you pay for it.