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AOL To Sell, License Patents to Microsoft For Nearly $1.1 Billion

•, by Abram Brown
The deal will include the sale of 800 patents to the software maker, as well as a non-exclusive license to AOL’s remaining patent portfolio, around 300 pieces of technology, ranging from mapping to advertising.
As its Internet subscription business has fizzled, revenue has fallen 58% in five years. CEO Tim Armstrong has seen increased criticism, and calls to investigate any strategic move to help right the Internet company. AOL spun off from Time Warner in 2009 with the Internet business in turmoil.
AOL shares skyrocketed 31% to $24.50 in today’s pre-market trading. AOL expects to return a “significant portion” of the sale’s proceeds to shareholders, the company said. AOL faces competition from such companies as Yahoo! and Google.

Microsoft shares sank a bit, declining about 0.8% to $31.52. Microsoft’s chief rivals are technology outfits like Apple, IBM and Hewlett Packard.

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