It’s official, AOL is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon

verizon plan explained storefront
In May 2015, Verizon confirmed it would acquire AOL for a total price of around $4.4 billion based on $50 per share figure, a valuation 17 percent higher than AOL’s current $42 share price. Verizon will take on all AOL businesses, including its video network, websites such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and, plus its programmatic advertising platform.

Updated on 06-23-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that Verizon completed acquisition of AOL.

Little more than a month later, AOL became a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon after Verizon’s tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of AOL for $50 per share in cash expired June 22, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. eastern time. Verizon acquired all remaining AOL shares that weren’t purchased in the tender offer through a merger pursuant to Section 251(h) of the General Corporate Law of the State of Delaware. AOL shares are no longer available on the NYSE.

AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to lead AOL operations and will report to Verizon’s EVP and President of Product Innovation and New Businesses, Marni Walden. Bob Toohey, the President of Verizon Digital Media Services, will report to Armstrong.

Websites, advertising, and dial-up subscribers tempt Verizon

In addition to all its websites and media businesses, AOL comes with its dial-up subscription business, which a recent earnings report revealed to still have 2.1 million members. While this figure is declining, it’s still worth more than $180 million per quarter alone, and needs little investment to run. That’s a lot of potential future Verizon customers, just waiting to be introduced to broadband Internet speeds.

Dial-up aside, Verizon sees the acquisition as a way to push its 4G LTE driven video plans forward and help build on its Internet of Things strategy. Lowell McAdam, Verizon’s CEO, said the company wants to offer a, “premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform,” and that the AOL deal will help deliver it.

AOL will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, but current chairman Tim Armstrong will continue to lead the AOL group. He described the two companies as having the same shared vision of creating the “next generation of media through mobile and video.” In a memo from Armstrong published by TechCrunch, he talks about the Verizon acquisition being the company’s passport into the mobile world, saying “the deal will add a mobile lens to everything we do inside of our content, video, and ads strategy.”

“This deal is aimed at the stars.”

“The future in front of AOL and the industry requires scale, mobile, and video – and partnerships. In our lifetime, we will see the connection of the world on very large and very fast networks – and to play in that world with our strategy requires us to take the natural steps to secure our ability to shoot for the stars,” Armstrong wrote. “This deal is aimed at the stars and we are going to pursue the joint vision of building the most significant media platform in the world.”

Interestingly, the acquisition comes in the same year that AOL marks the 15th anniversary of its failed merger with Time Warner. Initially seen as a brilliant move, the partnership went sour, forcing AOL Time Warner to post the biggest annual corporate loss in history — $99 billion — in 2002. Looking into Verizon’s past, we find it hasn’t been great at managing web content, something it’s about to do again. At the end of last year, it unceremoniously shut down SugarString, its short lived blog covering tech trends, that wasn’t allowed to cover sensitive subjects such as Net Neutrality and the NSA spying scandal.

The announcement of the acquisition is only the start for Verizon and AOL. The deal must be put before regulatory bodies for approval, and conditions will have to be met. Should it all go to plan, Verizon expects the deal to close during the summer.


There’s no silver lining for iCloud users, and Apple needs to fix it

Apple has made few tweaks to its iPhone backup service, iCloud, in the last seven years since it was introduced. Still limited to a stingy 5GB with little option to configure, it’s time Apple made some changes.

Apple iPhone XS vs. iPhone X: What difference does a year make?

How much difference does a year make to Apple's flagship smartphone range? We're about to find out as we pit the iPhone XS versus iPhone X to uncover the improvements and find out what's the same and precisely what has changed.

Verizon 5G Home promises gigabit internet speeds for as low as $50

Verizon is giving cable internet and Google Fiber a run for their money with its new 5G Home. Launching October 1 at $50 in select markets, 5G Home promises up to gigabit internet speeds and no data caps.

FCC pauses its review of T-Mobile-Sprint merger, says it needs more time

T-Mobile and Sprint are hoping the third time is the charm for a merger. It comes just months after the carriers cited an inability to find common ground, extending yet again the long dance between the two telecom giants.

WatchOS 5 is now available -- here's everything we know so far

Months after Apple announced its latest software at WWDC, you can now download WatchOS for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 5 brings a number of new features including new watch faces and improved health tracking.

Report: President Trump to spare Apple from tariffs on Chinese goods

According to a new report, Apple and other tech firms may be spared from the Trump administration's upcoming tariffs on Chinese goods. While devices like the Apple Watch were on a preliminary list, they have reportedly been removed.
Product Review

The Suunto 9 multisport watch has the stamina to outlast even you

The Suunto 9 offers an astounding 120 hours of continuous tracking thanks to its intelligent battery modes and FusedTrack "GPS without GPS" tracking. We put the Suunto 9 through its paces to find out how well these features work.

Instagram’s shopping stickers for businesses see wide rollout

As the Stories format continues to grow, Instagram is allowing users to shop the items inside a Stories photo or video. Instagram recently expanded stickers that let people shop inside a Story by tapping on the sticker.

Will your carry-on fit in that overhead bin? Kayak’s new AR tool can tell you

Don't break out the tape measure just yet -- a new augmented reality tool inside the Kayak app can help determine if your bag meets carry-on requirements. After measuring the bag, the app compares it to your airline's requirements.
Social Media

A lot less clutter! Twitter relaunches purely chronological timeline

If you still miss the reverse-chronological timeline that Twitter ditched two years ago and you're fed up with all of the extra algorithmic tweets appearing in your feed, there's now a way to return it to how it used to be.

Withings reclaims its brand with the new Steel HR Sport hybrid watch

After repurchasing itself from Nokia, Withings is back with the new Steel HR Sport fitness tracker. The hybrid sports watch may look familiar, but any resemblances to Nokia's Steel HR are only skin-deep.

Overheating problems may force Apple to extinguish the AirPower charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Google’s Family Link expands globally, now works on more devices

Google's Family Link app makes it easier for parents to keep track of their kids' smartphone usage. They can restrict them from downloading apps, see which services they use the most, and more. Here's everything you need to know.

Just $100 buys you this super tough — and very cool — G Shock fitness watch

Casio has announced a new Bluetooth-connected fitness watch in its G Shock line. The GBD-800 has an all-new digital display, fitness tracking technology, a classic G Shock look, and an attractive price.