“SAYWORD” Verizon buys AOL for 4.4 Billion dollars; AOL Cheif Tim Armstrong to stay on board.
Earlier this year, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said there was no truth to reportsthat he was selling his company to Verizon. It’s a different story now: The telco is buying the Internet publisher and subscription service for $4.4 billion.
Verizon, which will pay $50 a share for AOL, says the deal will help its “wireless video and OTT (over-the-top video) strategy.” Verizon says the transaction should close this summer.
Armstrong, who left the top sales job at Google to run AOL in 2009, will stay on to run the business after the deal closes, Verizon says.
If Verizon keeps AOL intact, it will have acquired a business that’s part ad tech operation, part publisher. AOL is best-known for its Web properties like Huffington Post and TechCrunch, but in the past few years it has concentrated on bulking up on services that help it and other publishers automate their ad sales. That business is growing at a much faster pace than AOL’s content business, but has lower margins.
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