AOL said on Tuesday that they are going to acquire the technology news blog TechCrunch in hopes of bolstering it's growing online editorial business. AOL was once well known as an Internet service provider, but they have shifted their gears in hopes of reviving their reputation as a hub for online news. The deal to acquire TechCrunch was finalized at a TechCrunch news conference, and will now add to AOL's technology coverage, which already includes the gadget blog Engadget.
Although neither of the companies disclosed the terms of the deal, a person with direct knowledge of the situation said the price was around USD$25 million.
TechCrunch was founded by an attorney by the name of Michael Arrington in 2005. It is widely read by technology industry insiders for breaking news and commentary. The company generates about USD$10 million in annual revenue while USD$3.5 million in annual profit. Also, it gets about 3.8 million unique visitors a month, making it one of the more popular technology news sites.
Meanwhile, AOL's Engadget garners about 7.3 million vistors a month.
Under AOL's chief executive Tim Armstrong, the company has hired hundreds of reporters to cover the local news of the company's Patch property, hoping it will strengthen online advertising revenue. AOL also stated on Tuesday that they had acquired 5min Media, a Web video syndication company, which maintains a library of video clips that media companies provide to other Web sites. AOL also acquired Things Labs Inc., the makers of software for that consumers use to post online content. AOL has been closing deals in hopes of bolstering their reputation as a source for online news and technology news.