We’re not sure why Verizon would want to buy a company that was once considered a dial-up king and has since turned into a multimedia conglomerate, but they did. Verizon and AOL have entered into an agreement for the former to buy the latter for a whopping $4.4 billion.
We may joke about being surprised AOL exists and fall back on our nostalgia of “You’ve Got Mail”, instant messages and late night chat rooms, but AOL is still a significantly relevant company in today’s internet. The company commands the likes of TechCrunch, the Huffington Post, Engadget and Joystiq — in case you haven’t realized, these are some of the biggest names in online media, and the entire lot of them combine to drive over $600 million annually.
With Verizon, AOL hopes to strengthen their already potent video, news and advertising platform to drive company growth to new heights. Perhaps not the same heights they enjoyed during the good ol’ dial-up days, mind you, but potent enough for them to be able to pay the bills and then some.
AOL CEO Tim Armstrong made remarks about the acquisition in an internal letter to employees obtained by The Verge. Thankfully none of the fine folks associated with the company will have to worry about losing any jobs. In fact, he expects a vast majority of the company’s employees will see better benefits and compensation than they ever have. He also gave a quick spiel on how the deal would help both them and Verizon in the future:
The decision to enter into an agreement with Verizon was made over a long and thoughtful time period and both companies see significant opportunity to service consumers and customers in a differentiated and exciting way.
On a personal level, the decision to go forward with an agreement was predicated on giving our talent the best opportunity to build a multi-decade business that would be deeply growth oriented and aimed directly at the platform shift that video and mobile are offering the world – today and 20 years from now.
We can’t argue with that. Verizon is as well-positioned as anyone to capitalize on a world that’s going increasingly mobile, and adding AOL to their ranks will give them solid footing to tackle this new age of internet going forward. AOL will remain as its own entity as a division of Verizon and run its current properties and business as they always have. They will also take the reigns on managing and evolving Verizon’s existing video and multimedia properties such as NFL Mobile.
It’ll be a while yet before we see tangible results of the joining of these two companies, but there’s no reason to suggest it won’t bring anything but goodness from both sides.