Verizon to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion

For $4.4 billion and at $50 a share, Verizon announced plans to acquire AOL. Under the deal, Verizon will own Adap.tv, Convertro, Moviefone, and entities such as Huffington Post and TechCrunch, among other assets. The combination of the networks will amass to the scale of Facebook and Google, according to a statement from AOL, with Verizon currently reaching 70 percent of web traffic across 1.5 billion desktops, TVs and mobile devices. Oded Napchi, Vice President of Product at online video content SPP Hiro Media, told Cynopsis he’s not surprised by the acquisition. “Traditional media is [now] invested in a new media shopping spree. Just think of Comcast buying FreeWheel, or RTL grabbing SpotXchange. Verizon wants AOL to be its significant foothold in the online video sphere. Their competitors should do the same – Time Warner would look great on Google’s arm at the next industry party, don’t you think?” Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan also called the transaction a smart move. “The future of TV is more and more about on-demand, streaming and addressable ads across TV, tablets, PC and mobile devices,” he told Cynopsis. “AOL’s ad tech will immediately give Verizon a significant advantage in monetizing audiences both for their own inventory and for their programming partners.” The purchase is expected to close this summer.

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