AOL, originally called America Online, is an online service provider and web portal, based in New York, United States of America. Well, you might have already known this. But did you know that the company was among the early pioneers of the Internet back in the mid-1990s? How much do you know or do not know about this service provider? Let’s stick till the end of the article and find out.
Like we just mentioned above AOL is one of the first pioneers of internet services back in the 90s. The company was founded in 1983 and started out as a venture called Control Video Corporation (CVC). The CVC was founded by William von Meister and was providing an online service, GameLine, for a video game console called Atari 2600.
After von Meister left the company in 1985, Jim Kimsey founded an Online Services Company called Quantum Computer Services on May 24th 1985, from what remained of the CVC. Later in the same year, Kimsey changed the company strategy to provide dedicated services for Commodore 64 & 128 computers. The company then was called Q-link or Quantum Link. AOL has gone through all these transitions over the years and evolved into the one we now know it to be.
AOL being an internet company has acquired many other companies from its beginning years only. The company’s first acquisition was in the year 1994 of an internet service provider called Redgate communications. The company has acquired more than 80 other companies, with its biggest acquisition being that of a web service provider called Netscape for 4.2 billion US dollars.
In the year 2000, as broadband services were being rolled out in and around New York City, AOL merged with Time Warner to form AOL Time Warner, Inc. this was the biggest merger in the history and was worth $165 billion
AOL was part of the merger until 2009, Tim Armstrong became the CEO of AOL on March 12th of 2009, following that, in the May of the same year, AOL came out of the merger. Under the leadership of its new CEO, AOL made a series of acquisitions and took steps in a new business direction.
AOL provides a wide range of services like AOL instant messenger (AIM); AOL Video, which features professional content, also allows its users to post and upload content on it; AOL Local, which is like a local city guide which provides the users with search services to find local information; AOL News; AOL My eAddress. The company has also ventured into film-making and earned an Emmy nomination for its original series. It also made a documentary, focusing on women in industries which are male-dominated.
Well, we could say that Armstrong has managed to keep up the business of the company by buying out other companies, looking at the number of acquisitions he made after he took over the CEO position in the company. But that wasn’t enough, the company still wasn’t at the forefront of the business and it was inevitable that some larger company would end up buying the company.
Who owns AOL now?
The inevitable has happened and the Verizon media bought out AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion. But the deal came out to be on the positive side of AOL’s journey like Armstrong then said that in 5 years the business world would get more competitive and being a partner of Verizon in the business is the logical step forward. In 2017, following the acquisition of Yahoo by Verizon, AOL alongside Yahoo are merged together to work as separate entities under the name Oath, Verizon’s new company.
That’s pretty much all about the ownership of AOL, hope the article has provided you with the information you came looking for. For more such articles, visit the Zeen website.