(USA Today) – Verizon announced Tuesday it will acquire digital conglomerate AOL for approximately $4.4 billion, a move expected to bolster the telecommunications giant’s efforts on mobile platforms and digital advertising.
Verizon will pay $50 a share for AOL, which has shifted its focus in recent quarters to video advertising following a split from Time Warner five years ago. The acquisition values AOL at 17% more than the price the stock closed at on Monday — $42.59.
Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and CEO, will stay on to run AOL after the acquisition.
In a statement released Tuesday, Verizon says the deal will shore up its wireless and over-the-top (OTT) video strategies. “This acquisition supports our strategy to provide a cross-screen connection for consumers, creators and advertisers to deliver that premium customer experience,” said Lowell McAdam, Verizon chairman and CEO, in a statement.