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Mixed views as AOL buys Huffington Post

AOL has agreed to purchase The Huffington Post, the influential and rapidly growing news, analysis and lifestyle website, for $315 million, the U.S. Internet company announced yesterday.

AOL has agreed to purchase The Huffington Post, the influential and rapidly growing news, analysis and lifestyle website, for $315 million, the U.S. Internet company announced yesterday.

The move will create a media group that will have a combined base of 117 million visitors a month in the United States and reach 270 million people globally, AOL said in a statement.

Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, will lead a newly formed The Huffington Post Media Group, which will integrate all Huffington Post and AOL content, AOL said in a statement.

About $300 million will be paid in cash in the purchase that has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and shareholders of The Huffington Post.

The deal, expected to be closed in the late first, or early second quarter of 2011, will combine AOL’s infrastructure and scale with The Huffington Post’s pioneering approach to news Tim Armstrong, AOL CEO and chief executive said.

Jeff Jarvis, author of the Buzzmachine blog, wrote: "To execute on its content-and-advertising strategy, AOL needs brands with engagement. Huffington Post is that. Armstrong needs someone who understands that the critical sphere of discovery for content will more and more be people: peers links, not algorithms; Arianna gets that.”

But media author Douglas Rushkoff told The Guardian that the Huffington Post had peaked. Eighty percent of mergers and acquisitions fail, he said. Time Warner bought AOL at its peak — and now history is repeating itself.

 
 
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