NEW YORK, May 12 (UPI) -- Telecom giant Verizon said it will buy AOL for $4.4 billion, or about $50 a share, in an all-cash deal that is being billed as a big boost to Verizon's digital and video platforms.
AOL, best known for its dial-up service, will become a separate division within Verizon. AOL has several media brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com. The company boasts $600 million in global advertising revenue. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will keep his job.
"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," Armstrong said in a written statement.
Verizon said it will fund the purchase with cash on hand and short-term corporate loans. The merger is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close this summer.
"Verizon's vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform, said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO. "This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience."
Steve Case, AOL co-founder, tweeted his congratulatory words Tuesday: "Congrats to my friends @AOL. Hope merger with @Verizon will ensure brighter future (mobile etc) for company that first got America online."