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AOL is not planning to sell TechCrunch and Engadget

AOL is not planning to sell TechCrunch and Engadget

In an interview with Ad Age, AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong has denied rumours that his company is planning to sell TechCrunch and Engadget, and has said instead that AOL is hoping to invest more in the technology news sites.

Armstrong statement refutes the article published in Pando Daily two days ago by Sarah Lacy, which asserted that “two independent sources” had confirmed that AOL was looking for buyers for the tech sites. Lacy wrote that AOL was hoping to get between $70m and $100m from the possible sale.

But Armstrong told Ad Age yesterday that AOL had been seeking investors in the sites, not people to buy them. Now, however, Armstrong states that AOL now is inclined towards “investing ourselves" in the sites.

Ad Age makes it clear that AOL is under pressure: the company’s total revenue has fallen by 4% year on year to $529 million, says the article, and its domestic ad-display business is now worth $119m down from $120m last year.

“I was not happy with domestic display" said Armstrong to Ad Age, and added, "major customers don't put major investments in when they think things are unstable." Ad Age suggests that AOL is working hard to court its investors, and Armstrong states that AOL is planning to give all the profits from a $1 billion patent sale and licensing deal to shareholders.

But not all business is bad: Ad Age writes that the company’s third-party ad network division grew by 23% year-on-year. And although Armstrong’s situation looks difficult, TechCrunch has published an upbeat article, reassuring readers “We’re not being sold! Instead, we’ve just hired a bunch of brilliant writers and a new COO.”

Sources: Ad Age, Pando Daily, TechCrunch


Hannah Vinter


2012-05-10 11:38

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