Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Verizon Completes AOL Buy

Verizon Communications and AOL have successfully concluded the acquisition by Verizon of AOL, making AOL a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon.

In an expanded role, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong continues to lead AOL operations after the closing, and Bob Toohey, president of Verizon Digital Media Services, will report to Armstrong.

Verizon Digital Media Services uses world-class technology to help companies prepare, deliver and display digital media content including video, web pages, applications, mobile ads and live events on any screen.

Armstrong in turn will report to Marni Walden, Verizon executive vice president and president of Product Innovation and New Businesses.

Regardless of how Verizon handles all of the new assets (some thing assets dispositions could be coming), Verizon has made no secret of its own view that, to the extent a large ISP wants to be in the video entertainment business, it is through streaming, not linear TV.

In that view, AOL is valued for its digital commerce and advertising potential, not the present value of its content-producing assets.

In principle, Verizon could use AOL in several different ways. Verizon might seek to retain and exploit unique content. Others might suggest it is the value of the advertising platform Verizon most sought. Yet others might suggest AOL could play a role in building an eventual Verizon streaming video service.  

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