AOL gaat TechCrunch overnemen – bevestigd

Normaal gesproken is technologieblog TechCrunch de website met de laatste nieuwtjes maar in dit geval niet nu het de website zelf betreft. AOL zou namelijk dichtbij een overname van het blognetwerk zijn melden bronnen betrokken bij de overname. TechCrunch werd in 2005 opgericht door Michael Arrington, in 2008 opgenomen door Time Magazine in de lijst met 100 meest invloedrijke personen.

Het netwerk is uitgegroeid tot een van de populairste blogs in de technologische sector met meer dan 4.5 miljoen RSS abonnees. De overname zou door AOL CEO Tim Armstrong aangekondigd worden tijdens de TechCrunch Disrupt conferentie, die momenteel wordt gehouden in San Francisco. Beide partijen wilden niet reageren op het nieuws, het is tevens niet bekend om welk bedrag het zou gaan.

Het bedrijf heeft al eerder een poging gedaan om TechCrunch over te nemen voor 20 tot 30 miljoen dollar en verder zou AOL al eens een poging gedaan hebben om weblog Mashable over te nemen wat op niets uitliep. AOL heeft iets met blogs, eerder kocht het bedrijf al Weblogs Inc. waar onder andere de populaire blog Engadget onder valt.

Update

Dat was wel heel snel, zojuist is de overname van TechCrunch door AOL officieel bekend gemaakt door Tim Armstrong. AOL wordt daarmee eigenaar van het gehele netwerk waaronder de weblog zelf plus de andere websites, MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV en CrunchBase. Michael Arrington gaat mee naar AOL voor minstens 3 jaar zo is vastgelegd in de deal. Geruchten gaan dat AOL rond de 40 miljoen dollar betaalt voor het netwerk al is dit niet bevestigd.

Het persbericht hieronder.

AOL TO ACQUIRE TECHCRUNCH NETWORK OF SITES

Leading Authority on Tech News Will Expand AOL’s Growing Offering of World-Class, Audience-Relevant Content

San Francisco, CA, September 28, 2010 – AOL Inc. [NYSE: AOL] today announced that it has agreed to acquire TechCrunch, Inc., the company that owns and operates TechCrunch and its network of websites dedicated to technology news, information and analysis. TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence, further bolstering AOL’s position as one of the world’s leading providers of high-quality, tech-oriented content. The announcement will be made on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, CA.

Founded by Michael Arrington, TechCrunch operates a global network of dedicated properties from Europe to Japan, as well as vertically-oriented websites, including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and CrunchBase. The TechMeme Leaderboard ranks TechCrunch as the No. 1 source of breaking tech news online, followed by AOL’s Engadget.*

“Michael and his colleagues have made the TechCrunch network a byword for breaking tech news and insight into the innovative world of start-ups, and their reputation for top-class journalism precisely matches AOL’s commitment to delivering the expert content critical to this audience,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL. “TechCrunch and its team will be an outstanding addition to the high-quality content on the AOL Technology Network, which is now a must-buy for advertisers seeking to associate their brands with leading technology content and its audience.”

Heather Harde, Chief Executive Officer of TechCrunch, said: “TechCrunch and AOL share a motivating passion for quality technology news and information, and we’re delighted about becoming part of the AOL family. This represents a compelling opportunity to extend the TechCrunch brand while complementing the great work of sites like Engadget and Switched. Our contributors, and our audiences, can look to the future with excitement about what we can build when we have the significant resources of AOL behind us.”

Michael Arrington, Founder and Co-Editor of TechCrunch, said: “Tim Armstrong and his team have an exciting vision for the future of AOL as a global leader in creating and delivering world-class content to consumers, be it through original content creation, partnerships or acquisitions. I look forward to working with everyone at AOL as we build on our reputation for independent tech journalism and continue to set the agenda for insight, reviews and collaborative discussion about the future of the technology industry.”

TechCrunch also hosts industry-leading conferences and events, including The Disrupt series, The Crunchies Awards and various meet-ups worldwide. These conferences bring together industry innovators, entrepreneurs and financing sources to exchange ideas, forge new relationships and discuss the current and future industry trends.

“Engagement with thought leaders is as important to AOL as our engagement with our contributors, audiences, publishers and advertisers, and TechCrunch’s conferences and websites will give us a promising, additional springboard to join and amplify these conversations. We’re committed to quality in everything we do at AOL, and look forward to working with Heather, Michael and the TechCrunch team to extend the brand,” said David Eun, President of AOL Media and Studios.

The AOL Technology Network consists of AOL’s tech-oriented properties including Engadget, the Web magazine about everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics; Switched, which covers the intersection of the digital world with entertainment, sports, art, fashion and lifestyle; TUAW, the unofficial Apple weblog; and DownloadSquad, the weblog about downloadable software and other computer subjects. The AOL Technology Network ranks in the top five for tech news according to comScore Media Metrix, August 2010 data, and leads the top five in average time spent and average visits per user.

This acquisition will further AOL’s strategy to become the global leader in sourcing, creating, producing and delivering high-quality, trusted, original content to consumers. TechCrunch will remain headquartered in San Francisco, CA, as a wholly owned AOL unit. Deal terms were not disclosed.

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