A Verizon- AOL deal was first mooted back in January as Verizon, like other network infrasturcture providers sought content providers and digital advertising capabilities.
While AOL came to prominence as one of the first commercial providers of consumer Internet access, the company has shifted its strategy in recent years to focus on becoming an online media company. The company draws about 250 million unique visitors to its sites every month.
Verizon was initially interested in AOL's digital advertising unit, which it could incorporate into the mobile video service offered by its Verizon Wireless subsidiary, it was suggested back in January.
AOL also maintains a legacy dial-up Internet service, which is still used by over 2 million subscribers.
Verizon's acquisition plan further drives its LTE wireless video and OTT (over-the-top) video strategy, the operator said, adding that its plan is to deliver services to customers over a global multiscreen network platform;
AOL's key assets include its subscription business: Media brands such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, Makers and AOL.com, as well as original video content, according to Verizon. The company is also after AOL's programmatic advertising platforms, and looks to combine that with its own assets to build a mobile-first advertising platform.
The transaction will take the form of a tender offer followed by a merger, with AOL becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon upon completion. The transaction is subject to the usual regulatory approvals, but the companies expect to close the deal this summer.