By Michael Stearns/ReutersMicrosoft and AOL are teaming up to acquire AOL, its Internet business, according to a person familiar with the transaction.
AOL’s acquisition will be one of the largest in the company’s history, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the deal.
Microsoft is acquiring AOL, the online ad and marketing company, for $1.5 billion.
The person spoke on condition that they not be identified because the terms of the agreement are confidential.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of 2018, is a result of a merger agreement that Microsoft reached with AOL in November, according an AOL spokeswoman.
Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., acquired AOL in 2007 for $7.9 billion, with a valuation of $8.9bn.
Microsoft’s purchase of AOL will help Microsoft to take on the largest ad market in the world.AOL, which went public in April 2018, was founded in 1997 by co-founder Mike Malone.
It has grown into a market leader in digital advertising, and it has become the dominant online advertising service in the U.S.
The acquisition is expected, at least in part, to help Microsoft broaden its reach in the digital ad market.
Microsoft and other tech companies have been looking to take advantage of the growth of online advertising.
In addition to AOL, Microsoft and Twitter are also working on an online advertising offering, as are Facebook and Google.
The merger is one of Microsoft’s largest acquisitions in the past decade.
The acquisition of AOL, which has seen an exodus of advertisers and employees to Facebook, has also helped Microsoft diversify its ad offerings.