AOL, an involuntary charity
Is there another Web company that has managed to lose so much money through mergers or acquisitions?
AOL is America On Line, but it is also sometimes described as Another Old Loser.
AOL provides a software suite to access Web services. Leading provider of Internet access a time, she became a media company, providing services and news with online software ..
- It had a time 30 million registered members, there are now five million.
- According to the New York Times in May 2009, the merger with Times Warner was one of the largest bankruptcies of all time in the field of mergers and acquisitions.
The two companies together worth $ 300 billion before the merger. After falling stocks they were worth only 40 and since the separation of the two entities (December 9, 2009) Times Warner AOL is 19.7 billion worth and AOL 2.4 billion (June 2010).
- AOL bought the Netscape site for 4.2 billion dollars. It would collect 1 billion license fee. The browser was already open source and programmers forked it to make Mozilla and Firefox.
Netscape was one of the most visited sites on the Web, there is nothing left. The domain is now redirected to the site of AOL. Its patents were sold to Microsoft
Bebo is a social networking site similar to Facebook, intended rather for teenagers and very popular in Great Britain.
Steve Case is the former CEO of AOL. He published this post on Twitter.
It is true that Bebo had lost 50% of its audience and those things are likely to continue in the same direction. Bebo was bought by AOL in 2008 for $ 850 million, then sold in 2010 for $ 10 million. Then in 2013, Michael and Xochi Birch, the founders, bought it for $ 1 million, calculate the benefit!
The site is closed in July 2013 pending a new version.
- In the same vein, the video distribution site 5min.com was acquired on September 2010 for $65 million and is now redirected to aol.com.
Beside Bebo, 5min and Netscape these sites have been closed:
CompuServe. The leading provider of online services, acquired in 1998, became a division of AOL, has ceased all operations.
ICQ. Messaging. Purchased from Mirabilis in 1998 and sold to a Russian company in 2010.
Mailblocks. Was an email management service online. AOL has retained its filtering system and closed the site.
Xdrive. Online storage service, acquired in 2005, it closed its doors in 2009.
About.me. Bought by AOL in 2010, sold to... itself (former About staff) in 2013.
Joystiq.com. Closed in January 2015.
- Is owner of an online mapping service, MapQuest. Bought in 1999 it is competing with Google Maps and Microsoft and Yahoo services.
- The CEO fires the artistic director during a speech. On August 9, 2013, while speaking to employees of Patch, a Entrerprise acquired by AOL, the CEO, Tim Armstrong, who did not appreciate the artistic director Abel Lenz makes a picture of him while he was speaking, incorporates an order of dismissal in the middle of his speech. This gives that:
If you think what’s going on right now is a joke, and you want to joke around about it, you should pick your stuff up and leave Patch today, and the reason is, and I’m going to be very specific about this, is Patch from an experience — Abel, put that camera down right now! Abel, you’re fired. Out! [A pause.]
If you guys think that AOL has not been committed to Patch, and won’t stay committed to Patch, you’re wrong.
- AOL is still provider of connections, but has largely turned into a media company. To do this it has acquired several sites of information. Engadget, news about technology. Joystiq, game console news. Huffington Post, site of news, founded in May 2005 by Arianna Huffington, bought US $ 315 million on February 2011. TechCrunch, the blog of Michael Arrington has been acquired on September 28, 2010 (for $30 millions).
- To rationalize its production was defined The AOL Way, writing for search engines. But at a time when Google is committed to fight against farms of content, AOL goes against the current with its aims to further develop this type of activity: production of content to the channel due to 15000 pages per day, designed specifically to target the most common searches and support the most profitable ads.
- It is AOL which is owner of Dmoz, a directory that was one of the first Web sites and to which AOL however has never dedicated more thant two or three employees, it is now plummeting.
It is also owner of Nullsoft, maker of Winamp and other software.
- In 2015, Verizon announces that it acquires AOL for US$ 4.4 billion. This makes it the owner of Huffington Post, Engadget, TechCrunch... and Dmoz.
In 2000, AOL had bought Time Warner for $ 164 billion (40 times more). In 2002 the two companies announced a joint annual loss of $ 99 billion and the market value of AOL rose from 226 to 20 billion dollars! The two companies separated in 2009. Finally, AOL is not worth much, just like we feel!