Its Official: America Online Acquires Weblogs, Inc.

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[ Technology]

America Online Inc. announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire highly successful blogging network Weblogs, Inc., for an undisclosed sum. But the $2 million per year Weblogs, Inc. was rumored earlier to be going as high as $35 million.

A deal signed today and expected to close next week, AOL plans to incorporate Weblogs, Inc.’s 85 topical blogs into AOL.com to beef up its micro-community offerings. It will continue to operate independently with full editorial control as a wholly-owned subsidiary of AOL.

Weblogs, Inc launched in January 2004, pulling content from over 100 independent free-lance bloggers producing over 1,000 blog postings a week. AOL was especially attracted to the company’s talent at reaching niche consumer and trade markets, attracting over 30 million page views per month and 25 million monthly RSS views.

Weblogs, Inc.’s most popular blogs include Engadget (technology), Autoblog (automotive), Joystia (gaming), Cinematical (films), Blogging Baby (parenting), Luxist (luxury), Gadling (travel), The Wireless Weblog, SlashFood, and TVSquad.

AOL plans to offer access to Weblog’s content through its various portal channels such like the Personal Finance Channel, the Autos Channel, the Travel Channel, the Games Channel, the Television Channel, and at AOL News, among others. AOL’s LiveWeb and People Connection will also provide links to Weblogs content.

“Weblogs, Inc. provides AOL with the ability to quickly launch websites and communities across areas our audience is passionate about, and advertisers are interested in,” said Jim Bankoff, executive vice president of programming and products for AOL.

Weblogs founder and CEO, Jason Calacanis, was enthusiastic about the partnership.

“Weblogs is delighted to join up with AOL, and in so doing, we’ve reached a milestone in the development of citizen media, ” said Calacanis,

“Weblogs has made great strides over the past two years building high-profile blogs. Yet, we realized that taking our network to the next level required a partner not only with a significant audience, but the advertising expertise to leverage it. In AOL, we found the ideal company to join.”

Weblogs, Inc. is AOL’s third acquisition this year. In August, AOL acquired Wildseed, Ltd., and Xdrive, Inc.

Its Official: America Online Acquires Weblogs, Inc.
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