HuffPo acquisition part of a wider strategy for generating online ad sales

AOL aims for ad revenue

The $315 million (£222 million) buyout of Huffington Post by internet firm AOL is sure to spark controversy in the technology world as boss Tim Armstrong bids to turn AOL into a home for specialist content.

Huffington Post currently receives around 25 million unique monthly visitors, and AOL hope that these visitors will now be ‘directed’ more towards AOL services. The acquisitions include popular technology sites Engadget and TechCrunch.

Experts worry that the buyout may result in an incident similar to that of AOL’s purchase of Bebo in 2008 for $850m before being forced to sell it off at a huge loss. Joining with Huffington Post seems like it should create huge advertising revenues, as more and more advertising money has been put into internet services over recent years.

Felix Salmon, finance blogger at Reuters has commented on the move: “It’s smart, and bold, to put Arianna in charge of all AOL’s editorial content, since she is one of the precious few people who has managed to create a mass-market general-interest online publication which isn’t bland and which has and instantly identifiable personality.”

AOL has struggled during the global financial crisis, but Ms Huffington seemed confident of the move and said: “I want to stay forever. This will be my last act. The opportunities here are really endless.”

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