Verizon Buys Out AOL for $4.4 Billion, Sends Worrying Signals Towards Media Properties
The news of Verizon acquiring AOL has sent out worrying waves across the web. The deal, which will see $4.4 billion in cash exchange hands, will put not only Engadget, Techcrunch, and Huffington Post under the umbrella of new owner Verizon, but also a variety of other publications.
These are some of the most valuable media properties on the web, and people have begun speculating a troublesome future in the light of Verizon’s stance against discussing sensitive and controversial topics like net neutrality, US surveillance, privacy objections and such.
The company was recently reported to be quietly working on a tech blog called Sugarstring, but had the writers banned from discussing the above mentioned topics. The blog was then shut down after the grim truth came into the public. Verizon responded that it was a “good, sound concept but the execution was not what it should have been.”
According to a memo from AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, AOL will continue with its current roadmap, but as a division of Verizon. Verizon on the other hand has stated that the purchase focuses on further driving “LTE wireless video and OTT video strategy” to “provide a platform from wireless to IoT.”
People can only speculate now as to what control Verizon plans to exert over its newly acquired media properties.