US telecoms giant, Verizon, is to buy AOL, the one-time king of the internet, for some 3.9 billion euros.
The all-cash and debt absorption deal will give Verizon, America’s largest mobile operator, access to AOL’s advertising and content businesses, such as Huffington Post, MovieFone and TechCrunch.
Tim Armstrong, who has led AOL’s transformation into one of the most successful advertising technology companies, will continue to head the company after the sale, with AOL becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon.
Back in 2000, Time Warner and AOL agreed a 165bn euro merger. The deal turned out to be a disaster, often described as the world’s worst ever takeover, and was a pivotal moment in the last tech boom as phone subscribes drifted off to cable.
AOL was later spun off from Time Warner in 2009 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange at a value of €3.4 billion.