AOL Inc known as America Online, is an American global mass media corporation based in New York that develops, grows, and invests in brands and web sites such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget. The company’s business spans digital distribution of content, products, and services, which it offers to consumers, publishers, and advertisers.
AOL originally provided dial-up service to millions of Americans. At the height of its success, it purchased the media conglomerate Time Warner. However, as dial-up rapidly lost ground to broadband in the mid-2000s, AOL’s fortunes significantly retracted and it lost the vast majority of its value, laying off thousands of employees. AOL was eventually spun off, and Time Warner is worth fourteen times the value of AOL, as of late 2015.
On May 12, 2015, Verizon Communications announced plans to buy AOL for $50 per share in a deal valued at $4.4 billion. The acquisition was completed on June 23, 2015. In the following months, AOL also made deals with Microsoft and acquired several tech properties including Millennial Media and Kanvas to bolster their mobile ad-tech capabilities.