AOL Acquires TechCrunch

By Cindy Waxer September 28, 2010

For once, everybody’s favorite tech blog, TechCrunch, was the talk of Silicon Valley instead of being the one doing all the talking. That’s because TechCrunch announced being acquired by AOL.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed although AOL said TechCrunch and its associated properties and conferences will join the AOL Technology Network while retaining their editorial independence. Founded by Michael Arrington, TechCrunch websites include flagship TechCrunch, MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, TechCrunchIT, GreenTech, TechCrunchTV and CrunchBase. AOL already owns technology news site, Engadget.

Reaction to the acquisition from TechCrunch readers has ranged from disappointment to shoulder-shrugging dispassion. Among the comments that have been posted on the TechCrunch site:

From Johan Notenboom: “It will get MA [Michael Arrington] a substantial amount of money and a 9 to 5 job with employee benefits like a pension plan. I want that too! To be fair: congrats guys.”

From Dan: “Don’t know about the rest of you guys..... but I feel disappointed and betrayed. Main point of reading TC was the transparency... and now after all those years I am being kicked with a heavy boot in my face... anyone but AOL... this is terrible disappointment...” 

Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL, obviously feels differently. In a statement, he stated: “Michael and his colleagues have made the TechCrunch network a byword for breaking tech news and insight into the innovative world of start-ups, and their reputation for top-class journalism precisely matches AOL’s commitment to delivering the expert content critical to this audience. TechCrunch and its team will be an outstanding addition to the high-quality content on the AOL Technology Network, which is now a must-buy for advertisers seeking to associate their brands with leading technology content and its audience.”

TechCrunch will remain in San Francisco as a wholly owned AOL unit. AOL is banking on the acquisition to further its strategy to become a leader in sourcing, creating, producing and delivering online content. In fact, AOL just announced acquiring Web video syndication firm 5min Media.

Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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