Verizon is starting its Tuesday by making a big purchase.
Verizon Communications is going to buy AOL for $50 per share, which works out to a total of approximately $4.4 billion. The deal is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close this summer. Once it does, AOL will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon, and current AOL CEO Tim Armstrong will remain as head of AOL.
As for why it made this deal, Verizon says that the AOL acquisition will boost its 4G LTE wireless video and over-the-top video offerings as well as its Internet of Things platforms. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam had this to say of the AOL acquisition:
“Verizon’s vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform. This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience.”
Meanwhile, here’s what AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said of today’s deal:
“Verizon is a leader in mobile and OTT connected platforms, and the combination of Verizon and AOL creates a unique and scaled mobile and OTT media platform for creators, consumers and advertisers. The visions of Verizon and AOL are shared; the companies have existing successful partnerships, and we are excited to work with the team at Verizon to create the next generation of media through mobile and video.”
This is a pretty big deal in many ways. Not only is Verizon dropping $4.4 billion on AOL — which it’s doing a year and a half after buying out Vodafone’s stake in its joint venture for $130 billion — but it’s also acquiring a major media company in AOL that’s got several news sites, video offerings, and more. It remains to be seen exactly how the deal will affect Verizon Wireless specifically, but one thing that’s for sure is that this is going to be an interesting situation to watch.