In a move that solidifies its new focus on digital and video platforms, Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion USD, or $50 a share, the companies announced Tuesday. AOL was best known in the 90s for its email service and dial-up internet, but ran into a lot of trouble in the early 2000s thanks to a messy merger with Time Warner and losses reaching $99 billion USD in the dot-com bubble burst. In recent years it has quietly worked its way back to earning $600 million USD in yearly advertising revenue thanks to several media brands — which are part of the deal — including The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com. It also has about $300 million USD in debt, which Verizon will also acquire. The merger is subject to regulatory approval, and is expected to close sometime this summer.
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