That could help AOL begin to turn around its display advertising business, which has struggled to grow as the company tries to turn itself into a content provider and moves farther away from its roots providing dial-up Internet.
The deal “will create a next-generation American media company with global reach that combines content, community, and social experiences for consumers,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said in a statement announcing the deal early Monday.
Founded in 2005, Huffington Post is owned by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and a group of other investors. AOL will pay $300 million of the purchase price in cash.
Arianna Huffington will be named president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group, which will include all Huffington Post and AOL content, including Engadget, TechCrunch, MapQuest, Patch and more.
Since laying off a large number of staff last year, AOL has continued reorganizing its operations. The company, which separated from Time Warner in 2009, has acquired new businesses, launched and relaunched websites, and rolled out a new Web advertising system. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong said last week he sees 2011 as a “comeback year” for the Internet company as it continues its turnaround efforts and starts expanding its ad business in the second half of the year.
The company’s fourth-quarter results show it is still struggling to boost ad sales. AOL had just a 5.3 percent share of the U.S. display advertising revenue in 2010, down from 6.8 percent in 2009, according to eMarketer. Facebook, meanwhile, accounted for 13.6 percent of display revenue last year, up from 7.3 percent in 2009.
미국의 인터넷 서비스업체인 AOL이 온라인 매체 허핑턴포스트를 3억1천500만달러에 매입한다고 7일 밝혔다.
AOL은 약 3억달러를 현금으로 지불하고 올해 1분기 말이나 2분기 초에 계약을 마무리할 계획이다.
또한 허핑턴포스트의 공동 설립자이자 편집장인 아리아나 허핑턴은 양사의 콘텐츠를 통합 관리하는 '허핑턴포스트 미디어그룹'의 대표 겸 편집장을 맡을 예정이다.
AOL의 팀 암스트롱 최고경영자(CEO)는 허핑턴포스트 인수로 콘텐츠와 커뮤니티 등을 아우르는 미국의 차세대 언론사가 출범하게 된다고 말했다.
허핑턴포스트는 2005년 설립된 뒤 월간 방문자수가 2천500만명에 이를 정도로 빠른 성장세를 보였다.
AOL은 2009년 타임워너 그룹으로부터 분사하고 지난해 대규모 감원을 단행한 뒤 사업 확대를 꾀하고 있다. (연합)