AOL and the Huffington Post: An internet veteran weds a youthful online bride

If any firm can testify to the risks involved in corporate mating it is AOL. At the end of 2009 the internet firm split from Time Warner, a media and entertainment giant, finally putting an end to one of the most disastrous mergers in American business history. But in spite of its traumatic experience, AOL still believes in the virtues of marriage: on February 7th it announced a plan to buy the Huffington Post, a web service founded in 2005, in a $315m deal that it claims will make everyone involved richer rather than poorer.The proposed transaction, which is expected to close in a few weeks’ time, combines two businesses that have bet their futures on online content. Since it spun out of Time Warner, AOL has turned itself into something of a mini media conglomerate, gobbling up lots of blogs and video-production companies, as well as launching its own internet initiatives such as Patch, a network of local online newspapers. The Huffington Post, meanwhile, has carved out a reputation for itself as a left-leaning news and content-aggregation site that has a loyal following.

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