Verizon is buying AOL for $4.4 billion

AOL, Engadget's parent company, has just been acquired by Verizon for $4.4 billion, or around $50 a share. The carrier believes that a tie-in between the two businesses will boost Big Red's online video and content strategy. AOL itself, far from just being the name on all those discarded dial-up internet CDs, is also a player in the online ad business -- and has developed several behind-the-scenes products for marketers.

In an email to employees, AOL chief Tim Armstrong pledges that the deal will create "the best media technology company in the world." It appears that AOL will be run as a separate division within the business, but using Verizon's distribution channels to widely circulate content from its brands, including TechCrunch and The Huffington Post.

Verizon will also distribute AOL's video shows onto its mobile and internet-based video channels, much like it already does with content sourced from the NFL. It's also easy to presume that both will also work with the company's forthcoming web TV service that it rescued from the flames of Intel's doomed OnCue project.