Verizon wants the be the new king of the Internet - and they just spent $4.4 billion to get themselves a little bit closer.
According to CNN Money, the company just signed a deal to buy AOL at $50 a share, which sent those same shares surging by 19 percent to just over $50 a share, following the announcement.
We can understand the allure: AOL brings in $600 million in advertising revenue annually. It provides online video services, content, and ads to 40,000 publishers and controls major news sites such as The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and EnGadget.
The deal may make sense to some, as Verizon continues to push its vision of dominating a future in which consumers get all their content - television and publications alike - via the Internet. But not all investors might share that confidence.
The past is the past
Following the announcement - which sent AOL's shares racing upwards - Verizon's shares dipped slightly... though it may have more to do with the past than the future.
After all, the last time a company decided to buy into AOL was just before the Internet bubble's infamous burst, when Time Warner picked up the tech company in a deal that would eventually end in a $99 billion loss - just a year after the merger completed. Not surprisingly, the marriage didn't last; AOL was later set free in 2009.
And girl, oh, girl - what a difference a few years can make, indeed.