Microsoft Purchased 800 AOL Patents For $1.06 Billion

Microsoft Purchased 800 AOL Patents For $1.06 Billion

AOL manged to increase their revenue of more than $1 billion from Microsoft for a trove of some 800 patents in an auction. AOL said it was selling more than 800 patents related to advertising, search, e-commerce and mobile to Redmond, Wash-based company, surprising investors with the size of the deal and sending AOL shares up more than 40 percent. Microsoft refused to say what the patents cover. Benchmark analyst Clayton Moran said they revolve around Internet technology, including advertising, search, and mapping. This would help Microsoft go up against Google Inc., a big rival that is ahead of it in all three areas.
AOL’s shares surged to their highest level in more than a year following the announcement. The company agreed to sell 800 of its patents and license others to Microsoft for about $1.06 billion in cash. The New York-based website developer and Internet access company said it plans to return some of the sale proceeds to its shareholders. AOL’s move signals that it is listening to stockholders who are asking for more return on their investment. In February, one of AOL’s largest shareholders, an investment firm, said it would nominate candidates for the company’s board because it was not doing enough to make money from its patents. AOL said at the time that it had begun to look at ways to unlock patent value.
After the sale, AOL said it will still hold more than 300 patents and applications covering a variety of technologies, including advertising, search, content generation, social networking, mapping, multimedia, and security among others. As part of the deal, AOL also received a license to use the patents it sold to Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft Corp. “The combined sale and licensing arrangement unlocks current dollar value for our shareholders and enables AOL to continue to aggressively execute on our strategy to create long-term shareholder value,’’ Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

-Source (Boston Globe)




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