Verizon snaps up AOL for $4.4bn creating media technology powerhouse

Verizon has acquired AOL for the sum of $4.4bn - a move which will give the company the scale to rival that of Google and Facebook.

The US telecom giant today (12 May) picked up AOL - which is set to become a subsidiary of Verizon - to forward its digital content and advertising capabilities.

The combination of the two companies creates a powerhouse in mobile, video, social and programmatic platofms, with Verizon leading in mobile and mobile video and AOL strong in video and programmatic advertising, the latter of which saw an 80 per cent surge in revenues in the first quarter of 2015.

The bundling of Verizon and AOL creates a powerful platform for the unbundling of media. Content and ads will be heavily implemented with Verizon’s extensive internet of things platform, supplementing growth in its LTE wireless video and OTT (over-the-top video).

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

“AOL has once again become a digital trailblazer, and we are excited at the prospect of charting a new course together in the digitally connected world.

Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman and chief executive, added: "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.

“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.”

The firm said the acquisition was part of a wider strategy to invest in emerging technology that “taps into the market shift to digital content and advertising”.

AOL assets currently include the Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers and AOL.com.

The purchase follows AOL unveiling a strong video line-up in March at its NewsFront, underlining its OTT potential.

John McCarthy

John is an entertainment marketing reporter at The Drum. He writes about the amazing marketing stories coming from the movie, TV, music and video game industries. He's also the hunt for the weirder trends in marketing and advertising.

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