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AOL acquires Bebo for $850 million

Cutting all speculation about Yahoo partnering with Bebo (UK’s leading social networking portal), AOL has announced its acquisition for $850 million.


Cutting all speculation about Yahoo partnering with Bebo (UK’s leading social networking portal), AOL has announced its acquisition for $850 million.



AOL’s chairman and chief executive officer Randy Falco says that by acquiring Bebo they are positioning AOL as a leader in the social media space. He comments, “What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetization opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers.”



Though AOL itself is known to be on the block, over the last six months, it has made continuous acquisitions to the sum of $1 billion in the online ad market, buying companies such as Lightningcast (An online advertising company that specializes in streaming video and audio placement, and ad campaign management), buy.at (Affiliate Marketing Network) and Third Screen Media (Mobile Ad company). These acquisitions have created AOL’s Platform-A, an ad serving network which according to comScore has a reach of over 167 million unique visitors.



Bebo, which has 100 employees operating from its head office in London, and operating offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas will continue to be managed by current president, Joanna Shields who will report to AOL’s chief operating officer and president Ron Grant. According to Shields, joining AOL was a natural progression for Bebo. She says, “AOL understands the shifting dynamics of the Web and has clearly demonstrated its commitment to leveraging the ever-increasing power of social networks.”



Ron Grant has said, “Bebo’s dynamic management team recognizes that the internet is less about destination and more about connecting people, culture and lifestyles. This acquisition supports our key objectives – accelerating the growth, engagement and monetization of one of the world’s most engaged online communities.”

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