Verizon to Acquire AOL in Push for Mobile Video and Ad Tech

Verizon Communications announced that it plans to acquire AOL for $4.4 billion as part of its larger initiative to develop mobile video and advertising opportunities. As part of the deal, Verizon will pick up assets such as, Convertro, The Huffington Post, Moviefone, and TechCrunch, among others. According to AOL, the combination of networks will match the scale of Facebook and Google. Following the merger, expected to close this summer, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will continue running the company and help build the growing content business.

acquisition“Instead of aiming at desktop computers, Verizon and AOL want to put content and new advertising technology on today’s most ubiquitous computing device, the mobile phone,” reports The New York Times. “In AOL, Verizon acquires a company that has developed valuable technology for serving mobile video and advertising.”

“The deal gives Verizon the advanced technology AOL has created and acquired for delivering high-quality video and selling ads in real time as it competes with tech behemoths like Facebook and Google,” adds The Wall Street Journal. “AOL has made a number of acquisitions in recent years to boost its online video and digital advertising business.”

AOL, which was spun off from Time Warner in 2009, is not the company it once was in terms of size, but has a number of compelling media and tech properties. Verizon’s push into content and advertising coincides with the stalled growth of subscriptions in the telecom industry.

Verizon presently reaches 70 percent of Web traffic across 1.5 billion desktop PCs, TVs and mobile devices.

“The future of TV is more and more about on-demand, streaming and addressable ads across TV, tablets, PC and mobile devices,” said Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan. “AOL’s ad tech will immediately give Verizon a significant advantage in monetizing audiences both for their own inventory and for their programming partners.”

Why Verizon Coveted AOL’s Ad Technology and Mobile Video, Bloomberg, 5/12/15
AOL Profit Beats Estimates on Growth in Digital Ad Revenue, Advertising Age, 5/8/15

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