The telecom giant reportedly wants to boost its mobile video content and especially wants AOL's automated advertising technology. Fred Katayama reports.
AOL, "You've got a suitor." Verizon Communications is interested in buying or forming a joint venture with the Internet pioneer, according to Bloomberg. The telecom giant reportedly wants to boost its mobile video content and is particularly interested in AOL's technology that automates the buying and selling of ads online. This development follows archrival AT&T's purchase of satellite TV operator DirecTV last year. Verizon has been trying to expand its Internet content by buying Intel's OnCue online TV service and content delivery firm EdgeCast Networks. Under CEO Tim Armstrong, AOL has transformed itself from an e-mail and web portal company that had a disastrous marriage with Time Warner into a content and media company driven by advertising. It has become dishy enough for activist investor Starboard Value to urge Yahoo to consider combining with AOL. JMP Securities senior analyst Ronald Josey said, "By partnering with Verizon, we believe AOL could accelerate its mobile penetration ... we believe Verizon could benefit by offering AOL's content to its users while benefiting from AOL's advanced programmatic advertising solutions." Bloomberg says Verizon hasn't formally popped the question to AOL and that a deal is not imminent. But investors got excited, driving up shares of Verizon and especially those of AOL in early trading.