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Verizon to buy AOL for $4.4 billion

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When people think of America Online, those old enough to remember CDs with 1000 free hours of internet connections in the 1990s can reminisce about dial up speeds and taking hours to download things that take seconds today. Things have changed for one of the pioneers of the world wide web and despite many turmoils, the company, now known as AOL, has finally found a buyer: Verizon.

The telecom giant will purchase AOL for $4.4 billion in a move that will bolster its hold on mobile attention and give a lift to its ambitions of being more embedded in content. They won’t just be delivering the stories and videos. Now, they’ll participate in making them.

“The primary attraction of AOL was the technology it has developed for selling ads and delivering online and mobile video,” Wells Fargo Securities analyst Jennifer Fritzsche wrote in a note.

AOL has been pushing to be a dominant content producer and advertising delivery system ever since Tim Armstrong took the helm in 2009. They made high-profile purchases of publications that have been both lucrative and controversial, including Huffington Post, Techcrunch, and Engadget‘s network.

According to Reuters:

Armstrong told Reuters that talks between Verizon and AOL started last year. He met with Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam at the Allen & Co Sun Valley conference last July over lunch about how to further their partnership.

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