Updated: AOL chief executive Tim Armstrong this morning announced on stage at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference that the web giant has purchased the technology blogging site for an undisclosed amount, a story Om broke last night. While we don’t know yet how much AOL paid for the blog network founded by Michael Arrington (at least one report says $25 million), we’re happy for him and his team (even though Arrington called Om his “nemesis” onstage at the Disrupt conference). We’ll update this post with more details as we get them, and in the meantime feel free to read the post penned by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong over at TechCrunch. Or read our original story from last night.
Although neither Arrington nor Armstrong would comment on the details of the deal, the AOL CEO did say that it was important for the company that the TechCrunch founder stay with the blog network, and in a comment after the announcement, Arrington said that he “had a feeling” he would stick around at AOL “for at least three years, due to a number of incentives.” When asked for a Twitter-length comment about why he bought the blog network as he was running to catch a plane, Armstrong said TechCrunch was “the future brand of the Internet.” The AOL CEO also said in his comments on stage that the idea behind the acquisition was to “get TechCrunch content to as wide a readership as possible.”
Update: Arrington also raised the issue of editorial independence during his brief discussion with the AOL CEO after the two signed the agreement on stage, where they were joined by TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde. The TechCrunch founder said that he asked AOL what would happen if some internal company documents were leaked to the blog network, the way internal Twitter documents were last year: Would TechCrunch be free to publish them? According to Arrington, the terms of the deal with AOL provide “complete editorial freedom” for the blog network.
The TechCrunch founder has written a blog post about the rationale behind the deal, which he says was partly about getting access to AOL’s engineering and advertising resources but also about CEO Tim Armstrong’s vision for the company. Arrington also told Robert Scoble that maintaining an independent voice was part of the deal. Embedded below is a video of the signing of the agreement on stage at Disrupt.
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