AOL has agreed to acquire TechCrunch for a reported $25 million to $40 million. TechCrunch will join Engadget, DownloadSquad and other popular properties at AOL.
AOL agreed to buy popular technology blog
TechCrunch, which will join Engadget, the DownloadSquad, the unofficial Apple Weblog
and other blogs in AOL's Technology Network.
Financial terms of the deal, announced and inked onstage by TechCrunch
founder Michael Arrington and AOL CEO
Tim Armstrong Sept. 28 at TechCrunch Disrupt in San
Francisco, were not disclosed. However, reports peg
the purchase price between $25 million and $40 million.
A key term of the deal is that Arrington will be able to maintain his
Websites' editorial independence without interference from Armstrong or his
TechCrunch will retain its headquarters in San
Francisco as a wholly owned unit of AOL.
Arrington has agreed to stay on
at TechCrunch for the next three years.
TechCrunch operates Websites in Europe and Japan,
as well as Websites with special focuses on certain sectors of technology,
including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and
TechCrunch also hosts conferences such as Disrupt, where Google CEO
Eric Schmidt spoke today.
AOL, which also acquired video startup
5min Media today, is trying to refashion itself into an Internet company that
makes money from online advertising, competing with Google, Yahoo, Microsoft,
Facebook and Twitter, among others.
One of its strategies is bulking up its media properties, hiring hundreds of
writers to kick in content about various topics.
The AOL Technology Network ranks in the
top five for tech news and leads the top five in average time spent and average
visits per user, according to comScore.
Now TechCrunch, which racks up 33 million page views per month and has 10
million unique visitors, will be the latest hot property AOL
will seek to monetize with ads, confirmed Armstrong.
"TechCrunch and its team will be an outstanding addition to the
high-quality content on the AOL Technology
Network, which is now a must-buy for advertisers seeking to associate their brands
with leading technology content and its audience," Armstrong said in a statement
In 5min Media, AOL has acquired a video
syndication network with a library of videos from more than 1,000 media
companies and small video producers. The buy will complement video creation
platform StudioNow, which AOL acquired
earlier this year for $36.5 million.
AOL is also pursuing a "mobile
first" strategy, launching
Android applications and a new mobile Web
portal. AOL also acquired
mobile location-based service provider Rally Up
earlier this month.