NEW YORK (AP) -- Verizon is buying AOL for about $4.4 billion, advancing the telecom's push in both mobile and advertising fields.
The acquisition gives Verizon an entryway into the increasingly competitive online video space. The New York company is the country's largest wireless carrier as well as an Internet and TV provider, and it is increasingly over the wireless space that telecom companies are fighting to win customers through video content.
Last month, Verizon said it was preparing to launch a video service over the summer targeting mobile devices and it is establishing partners to deliver that content. It also recently began offering tiered cable bundles, putting it at odds with major content companies like ESPN, as it sees more customers cut the cord in favor of streaming video.
Verizon Communications Inc. will pay $50 in cash for each share of AOL Inc., also based in New York, a 15 percent premium to its closing price on Monday.
"Verizon's vision is to provide customers with a premium digital experience based on a global multiscreen network platform," said chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam in a printed statement.
The deal is expected to close this summer and Tim Armstrong, AOL chairman and CEO, will continue to lead that company.