US telecoms giant Verizon in talks with AOL about takeover or venture

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Verizon is said to prize AOL’s expertise in the automated buying and selling of digital advertising, known as programmatic trading, as the phone giant eyes the booming mobile ad market — particularly in video.

Programmatic technology allows brands to buy ads and place sponsored content, based on an individual user’s location and behaviour, in real time through a trading exchange like the stock market.


Some industry forecasts suggest half of all ads and sponsored content could be bought programmatically before 2020.

AOL’s assets includes, which matches online advertisers and video publishers through a programmatic trading exchange.

However, news agency Bloomberg said it was “unclear” whether Verizon is also interested in AOL’s media properties, which include news site The Huffington Post, founded by Arianna Huffington, and technology site TechCrunch.

Verizon, with a stock-market value of $195 billion (£127 billion), could easily afford AOL, valued at under $4 billion.

AOL had its heyday at the turn of the century as an email and broadband provider, but a merger with Time Warner failed and it has tried to reinvent itself as an ad-technology business.

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January 7, 2015 |
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