Verizon buys AOL for $4.4 billion cash

Here's one we didn't see coming: Verizon has agreed to purchase AOL. The deal, worth $4.4 billion in cash, gives Verizon something they've been wanting for some time — an instantly powerful ad network. AOL's most recent earnings highlight that; 7% year-over-year growth in revenue, all on the back of third party ad sales, which grew 19% versus last year. As the AOL we knew shrinks from us (you can no longer use it for Apple sign-ins, for instance), the ad network kept them relevant enough for an acquisition.

We hope — hope — this also means Verizon can ween users off dial-up.

Right up front, Verizon says this enhances their video strategy, which is how the company has been leveraging their own ad network. Verizon also compliments AOL's mobile-first philosophy for ads, calling them a "digital trailblazer".

Interestingly, Verizon also wanted AOL for the 'Internet of Things', where they say "the agreement will also support and connect to Verizon's IoT (Internet of Things) platforms, creating a growth platform from wireless to IoT for consumers and businesses."

On completion of the deal, AOL will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon. AOL Chairman and CEO Time Armstrong will continue to lead AOL's operations after the deal closes.

According to Armstrong, this may have been a necessary move at the perfect time. Speaking to CNBC, Armstrong said "when you look at where we are today and where we are going, we have made AOL as big as it can possibly be in today's landscape. There is no better partner for us to go forward with than Verizon."

It's worth pointing out that while we shouldn't expect much in the way of interference, AOL owns sites like Engadget and TechCrunch. If you recall, Verizon previously had their own tech news website that was a bit more than biased.

Source: Verizon