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Verizon buy AOL in $4.4B Bet

Verizon buy AOL in $4.4B Bet

Verizon announced Tuesday that it has signed a deal to acquire AOL for $50 per share, for a total value of $4.4 billion. A powerhouse during the dot-com boom more than a decade ago, AOL has become something of an afterthought amid today's online trendsetters, but it does have a stable of Web publications and packs some video savvy as well.

 Worldwide, the digital advertising market in 2014 was worth $145 billion, according to the research firm eMarketer, and AOL's share was less than 1 percent, well behind leaders Google (31 percent) and Facebook (8 percent). AOL's portion in the US alone was slightly over 2 percent. Mobile advertising, meanwhile, is set to jump from $42.6 billion worldwide in 2014 to $68.7 billion this year, eMarketer said.

Last year, Verizon acquired Intel's Internet TV business after the chipmaker failed to get it off the ground McAdam offered a similar sentiment at that time, saying that Intel's TV service, called OnCue, would "help Verizon bring next-generation video services to audiences." Rumors of a possible AOL acquisition began heating up earlier this year. Rival AT&T has been providing over-the-top video content through its U-Verse platform, which allows people to stream live television, shows and movies.

Still, investors have been discontent with AOL and over the years have called on Armstrong to sell the company

AOL will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, and Armstrong will remain in charge of it. Verizon expects the deal to close this summer.Over the last several years, AOL has watched its business steadily grow, to $2.5 billion last year. The company generated a $125.6 million profit in 2014. Still, investors have been discontent with AOL and over the years have called on Armstrong to sell the company!

Deal is a tender offer, meaning Verizon will acquire all shares on the open market from current investors; the board at AOL is not required to approve the deal in order for it to go through. Such a deal usually carries a premium to entice shareholders to accept the offer. In the case of AOL, Verizon is offering a 17 percent premium on AOL's closing price of $42.59 on Monday.

AOL's stock was up around 18 percent to just over $50 a share in morning trading. Verizon's shares were down by less than 1 percent to around $49.50.

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