Verizon Communications Inc said it would buy AOL Inc in a $4.4 billion deal that gives the biggest U.S. wireless carrier access to AOL’s mobile video platform and content including the Huffington Post news website.
The offer of $50 per share represents a premium of 17.4 percent to AOL’s Monday close of $42.59.
AOL shares traded as high as $50.70 before the opening bell on Tuesday. Verizon shares were down about 1 percent at $49.32.
The offer highlights the need of telecom companies to diversify as their wireless businesses mature and more consumers watch videos and access other content on cellphones.
AOL Chief Executive Tim Armstrong, who will continue to lead the company after the sale, said mobile will represent 80 percent of media consumption in the coming years.