Verizon Buys AOL, Eyes Digital Content

In a move to build its digital content platforms, U.S. telecommunications firm Verizon has acquired online media company AOL for approximately $4.4 billion.

April 6, 2018

Verizon Buys AOL, Eyes Digital Content

In a move to build its digital content platforms, U.S. telecommunications firm Verizon has acquired online media company AOL for approximately $4.4 billion ($50 per share).

The acquisition will enhance Verizon's LTE wireless video and OTT (over-the-top video) strategy, meant to make the mobile brand more than just a service provider, but rather a true competitor in the digital content arena.

AOL's key assets include its subscription business; its portfolio of global content brands including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers and AOL.com, as well as its millennial-focused OTT, original video content; and its programmatic advertising platforms.

"Verizon's vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multi-screen network platform," says Lowell McAdam, chairman and chief executive officer, Verizon. "This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer

experience. At Verizon, we've been strategically investing in emerging technology, including Verizon Digital Media Services and OTT, that taps into the market shift to digital content and advertising. AOL's advertising model aligns with this approach, and the advertising platform provides a key tool for us to develop future revenue streams."

The combination of Verizon and AOL will create a scaled, mobile-first platform offering directly targeted at the $600 billion global advertising industry.

The transaction, which is expected to close this summer, will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, with AOL eventually becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon.

"Verizon is a leader in mobile and OTT connected platforms, and the combination of Verizon and AOL creates a unique and scaled mobile and OTT media platform for creators, consumers and advertisers," says Tim Armstrong, chairman and chief executive officer, AOL, who will continue to lead AOL operations after the sale closes. "The visions of Verizon and AOL are shared; the companies have existing successful partnerships, and we are excited to work with the team at Verizon to create the next generation of media through mobile and video."

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