According to AOL, "since its inception, Bebo has established a radical new vision for online media and engagement marketing, combining community, self-expression and entertainment, enabling its members to consume, create, discover, curate and share digital content in entirely new ways....its groundbreaking Open Media platform ushered in a new way for users to experience content online, while giving global media companies like MTV, CBS, BBC and more than 400 others, a new way to promote, distribute and monetise their programming."
The deal comes just one week after AOL's launch of Open AIM 2.0, an initiative that allows developers greater freedom to access the AIM network and integrate AIM into their sites and applications, and the announcement by Apple of a downloadable AIM application for the iPhone.
Under the terms of the agreement, AOL will acquire Bebo for $US850 million in cash. Bebo has about 100 employees in the UK, San Francisco and Austin, Texas. After the deal is closed, current president Joanna Shields will continue to run Bebo and will report to Ron Grant.
AOL, chairman and CEO, Randy Falco, said: "What drew us to Bebo was its substantial and fast-growing worldwide user-base, its vision of a truly social web, and the monetisation opportunities that leverage Platform-A across our combined global audience. This positions us to offer advertisers even greater reach and marketers significant insights into the desires and needs of consumers." CONTINUED