Verizon Communications said it has closed its proposed $4.4 billion acquisition of AOL, a move that aims to beef up Verizon’s mobile, over-the-top video and advanced advertising strategies.
Verizon, which did receive some backlash from consolidation critics over the deal, said AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will continue to lead AOL operations “in an expanded role,” and report to Marni Walden, Verizon’s executive VP and president of product innovation and new businesses. Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services, the company’s cloud video and advertising unit, will report to Armstrong.
In AOL, Verizon will acquire a portfolio of content brands, including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com, as well as a menu of OTT fare targeted to the coveted millennial audience. Via AOL, which acquired Adapt.TV in 2013, Verizon also gets some key programmatic advertising technologies that could play a part in its coming “mobile-first” offering that will include content from partners such as ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders, CBS Sports, ESPN, 120 Sports and AwesomenessTV.