Update: According to AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, the company is not looking to unload TechCrunch or Engadget. AdAge spoke with him, sharing the following quote:
“We are planning to invest in those properties, not sell” them, Mr. Armstrong said in an interview with Ad Age. He admitted that the company has spoken with outside entities about partnerships that would lead to increased investments in TechCrunch and Engadget, but that right now AOL is leaning toward “investing ourselves.”
Update 2: TechCrunch has put out its own article on the topic now. It equates to “We’re not for sale.”
Will the AOL/TechCrunch drama ever end? For now, it continues.
The latest in the saga is a report from Sarah Lacy of PandoDaily (formerly of TechCrunch), who says she’s hearing from two independent sources that AOL is looking to sell Engadget and TechCrunch for somewhere between $70 million and $100 million. She says that they could be sold as AOL Tech, possibly with other sites like TUAQ and Joystiq.
“AOL is hoping to make something off the drama of the past couple of years: $70 million would net the struggling Internet company about $10 million profit on what AOL originally paid for both TechCrunch and Engadget’s original parent Weblogs Inc,” Lacy writes. “According to one source, AOL management has been seriously considering the move since early this year. The news also sheds light on why Arianna Huffington was so relaxed about relinquishing responsibility for the division last month, according to reports.”
Huffington reportedly talked about wanting to focus more on Huffington Post at Business Insider’s recent conference. This came about a month after conflicting reports emerged about just how much power she would have going forward.
If AOL really is looking to sell the tech properties, one would have to imagine that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington might be interested, though he’s not saying as much. Lacy quotes him directly:
“I don’t know anything. No one tells me anything. I am not in the least bit interested [in buying back TechCrunch]. I was Team Pando all the way until Sarah Lacy fired me. That does not change my position on TechCrunch.”
Arrington, who famously called Huffington a touchy psychopath, will appear at the upcoming TechCrunch event, Disrupt (with former TechCrunch writer MG Siegler). Given the drama, it should be interesting to see what kinds of episodes emerge from that.
“MG and I will be doing on stage interviews with famous tech people in our signature styles, and helping to run the Battlefield,” Arrington said in a recent post on TechCrunch itself, titled “I’m Back”.
Will that title have even more meaning that first thought?
Former Mashable editor Ben Parr chimed in on the discussion on Twitter:
@sarahcuda — One more thought — think about the price point in comparison to the Mashable-CNN rumors
@benparr yeah but i heard that was always BS
This tweet from Siegler seems appropriate (though he was actually tweeting about a Lakers game):
Win or lose, those types of endings are awesome.
Of course, it’s not over yet…